- Think long-term. Do you want to start out with this house, or are you planning to start your family here? If you’re looking to start your family in a new home, you might want to consider room to grow. If you’re in a two-bedroom now and are looking to have multiple kids, you will need to maximize your space – or find a home with more room. If you don’t plan to live somewhere for at least five years, you’re also not likely to make back any of the money you spent on any repairs and enhancements for the house.
- Think about re-sale value. Should you ever choose to sell your house, take into account the area, school districts, traffic and other quality of life factors. If you’re looking to target families when re-selling your home, make sure you’re in a good school district, away from traffic, and near parks and other family-friendly amenities.
- Know what you want in your house. Some things are optional to people, like having a newly furnished kitchen, but for some people, those upgrades are a necessity. Know what you want, what you would like, and what you need. If you need space, look at how much you’re willing to pay versus how many square feet your budget can afford. Make checklists to take with you to house showings, so you can see your options from house to house.
- Look at all the expenses involved in each home you’re considering. Don’t just look at the utility bills, mortgage payments, insurance and taxes. Look at ALL of these expenses, including needed upgrades, immediate and future repairs, property taxes, etc. Will your transportation budget have to go up if you’re commuting farther? Will you have to hire a landscaping service to manage a large lawn?
- Are you planning to buy the house with someone else? If so, you’re more likely to be able to get a bigger and better place compared to if the two of you purchased separately. If you do plan to buy with a partner, make a plan and lay down some ground rules beforehand.
- A fixer-upper is sometimes a good option for those with smaller budgets, or for those who are handy who really enjoy home improvement projects. Not for you? Than look at homes that are move-in ready or that require minimal work.
Perhaps the most important tip is to be open and honest with yourself and your Realtor® about what you can afford and what you want versus what you need in a home. She can walk you through the decision making process, so that when you are ready to shop for a home, you have a pretty good idea what type of home and what criteria will meet your needs.
Happy House Hunting!
~ The Marti Reeder Real Estate Team