Fun and excitement are in the air when a Buyer is searching for their next home. It’s the time when life mirrors an HGTV-like experience! Buyers should create a list of what they must have and what they’d like to have to facilitate the process and keep some of the emotion out of the process. There are a few other things that Buyers should keep in mind when begin to shop for a home.
Look down the road and try to imagine living in the house long term. Whether you’re buying your first home or fifth, try to think about the unexpected changes the world brings, whether we want it or not. Are you starting a family? If so, you might want to anticipate if the home has sufficient living, playing and storage space and if the yard will serve future needs. How long do you plan to stay in the house? Might a first floor master suite be a practical choice? If you have family out of state who likes to visit, consider the guest space configuration of the home. Don’t forget pets – is there enough room to keep them happy? Historically, home ownership has provided a solid return on investment, but always remember that return on investment can be tied to length of ownership and make sure you’re buying in a location where the next owner will want to live!
Financial stability is a huge factor to consider when purchasing a home. No one wants to live “house poor,” where too much of their income goes to paying for the house. Leave yourself financial room to bank for vacation, college, retirement, a great car or boat…the options are limitless. Aside from the milestones in life, make sure you also bank for the unpleasant things we avoid thinking about. A cushion for events like unexpected job loss, taxes, sickness or worse.
Does the house you like require significant renovations? Speaking from personal experience, I love renovation, but my family finds it stressful. Don’t take on too much of a project, especially if you’ll be living in the home during the process. It’s easier to renovate a kitchen during Spring and Summer, when cooking on the outdoor grill helps retain some semblance of normalcy. However, washing pans in a bathtub is not one of my fondest memories! Exterior renovations cause less confusion and anxiety because while there may be noise, the mess is contained outside.
Learn as much as possible about the community from online resources, your realtor or meeting a neighbor. Many clients like to drive by a house first before we go see it, so they can get a sense of the neighborhood, proximity to schools, shopping and commuting venues. In addition to loving the house, it’s important that the area gives you that sense of “home.” Real estate is a year ‘round business and the right home can be found in almost any month. Spring usually has the most houses on the market, but it also has a larger number of Buyers searching, which can create a more competitive environment.