Monday, April 17, 2006

Finding A Home That Is Right For You

Buying a new home or real estate is exciting, but it can also be a bit stressful because it is a big step, especially if you’ve never purchased a home or real estate before. Before you contract a realtor there are several things that you should really consider so that the search for your new home will be a lot more fun and a lot less stressful. When you know what you want and need you can then direct your realtor of choice to help you find the house that is out there waiting for you.

Determine Your Needs
The first thing you need to do is determine what you personally need from a home. For instance, if you have a family of six you probably aren’t looking for a one or two bedroom home. Decide how many bedrooms you need as well as how many bathrooms would be desirable. Consider whether you can deal with more or less of either bedrooms or bathrooms. Also think about what type of yard you’ll want around your house. If you have a big dog, you may consider a big yard a necessity. Do you desire a specific type of floor plan? If you don’t want stairs or you do want that second story that you have been dreaming of these are all things that you should write down on a list. You should also consider overall square footage. Many families simply need more space to spread out, and that’s understandable, while others are looking to decrease the size of their homes after the kids leave! Really determine what your needs are so that you will be able to convey them to your realtor.

Pick Your Location
It can be difficult to determine where you want to live if you are relocating to a new area, but if you have an area of town picked out where you absolutely know you want to live, that will help your realtor do his or her job much more efficiently by searching for your needs and wants in a specific area of town. Location can also be important from a resale point of view because you want a home that will gain value, not lose value. It’s a good idea to not only consider how close a certain neighborhood is to work and school and the grocery store, but how wise of an investment it is as well. If you aren’t sure about location, a good realtor can always help you determine where the best place in town will be for you.

Know Your Finances
Now that you have determined your needs and where you want to live, you need to take a close look at your finances. Of course, this may seem like it should be the first step, but unless you know what you need it will be hard to determine if it will fit into your budget. Look at what you are paying now and determine if you want that to stay the same, be reduced, or if you can afford to pay more. Now, will the dollar amount that you want or need to pay each month for your mortgage mesh well with what you want from a home and where you want it? If so, you might want to look into getting pre-qualified for a home loan to streamline your house hunting process.

What You Want
Now is the fun part, you can think about what you want. Do you really want air conditioning? Do you want a pool? A fireplace? A wet bar? An upgraded kitchen? A spa tub in the bathroom? Make a wish list of the things that you would be thrilled to find in a home that is the right price, has the appropriate number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and is in the right part of town. This will help your realtor show you homes that you will enjoy seeing and could really see yourself in.

Get a Realtor
Now it’s time to find yourself a realtor and give him or her a list of all the things that you really want and need from a home. All of your planning will make your realtor’s job much easier and will also ensure that you are on the same page and make sure your time looking at homes is very well spent.

Buying a home is something that takes some planning, so try to be patient as you put all the pieces of the puzzle together for yourself and your realtor. The more you know what you want or need, the more smoothly the process will run, getting you into your new home sooner.