6 Things To Consider Before Starting Your Home Search

Saturday Mar 19th, 2022


6 Things To Consider Before Starting Your Home Search🏠🔍


➡️Financial Qualification

Getting financially qualified is your first step before starting to house hunt. There are sometimes unknown circumstances that may be affecting your credit score or debt service ratios, some of you might not even be aware of until your lender takes you through the pre-approval process. Online pre-qualifications are typically not 100% accurate. If you recently bought a vehicle or recently changed jobs, the process may be delayed for you.


➡️Hire A Professional

Hiring a realtor is a very important step in the home buying process and you may not want to work with the first one you meet. Ensure to review your options carefully. Reading reviews or asking friends/family who they used and how the experience was can be very helpful. Realtors are typically free for buyers as we get paid by home sellers. This is likely the biggest purchase of your life thus far and you deserve to have a team of professionals working for you! If you do opt to buy privately, ensure you have a great lawyer on your side. Navigating the market on your own can be very difficult, so lean on the pros!


➡️Be Realistic About the Market Conditions

You may not secure the first house you want, or even the second, third, fourth, and so on. Try your best not to get too excited for each house, as impossible and hard as that is. Telling all of your friends and family that you have written an offer on the perfect house and sending them photos of how perfect it is definitely makes the blow that much harder if you are competing and do not get it. We suggest keeping all details on a need-to-know basis until the final paperwork is completed to avoid getting anyone’s hopes up before anything is finalized.


➡️Set Your Budget

You do NOT have to spend your maximum pre-approval amount. In fact, it is best to stay slightly under if at all possible. While getting the right house is great, there is nothing fun about being “house poor” and diminishing your quality of life. Ensure when creating a budget to remember the mortgage payments are separate from home insurance, mortgage insurance, car payments, heat, electricity, water, internet, TV, phone, property maintenance, credit card payments, previous debt payments, groceries, etc. Spreadsheets are a great way to organize each estimated cost and establish a financial strategy and maximum purchase price that you are comfortable with.


➡️Discuss Your Motivations

Talk about why you are buying a home with your realtor and your mortgage advisor to help them help you. If you are living with your parents and looking for a home without a real deadline the process may be a lot different than if you are living in a rental with the end of your lease coming up or getting a job transfer where you must be situated by a certain date. If you must be in a certain school zone for your kids, it is also very important to note before house hunting!


➡️Must Haves vs. Could Live Without

Try not to make your “must-have” list too long right off the bat. If you have a search set up with a minimum of 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, you could miss out on a house that has roughed-in plumbing in the basement or converted attic space that would work as a bedroom. Sometimes the right house won’t have a garage but there is room to build one, or maybe it is a 5-minute drive outside of your desired area. If the price is right and there is potential for you to add what you ideally want down the road, you might miss out on something great. Don’t make your search too narrow. Stick to absolute must-haves for your initial search and narrow it down once you start to see properties. It would be a shame to miss out on anything that could actually work!

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