If you are thinking about buying a home, you will need to be strategic so you can find a home that meets your needs and budget.
Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, explains:
The key to making a good decision in this challenging housing market is to be laser focused on what you need now and in the years ahead, . . . Another key point is to avoid stretching your budget, as tempting as it may be.
It is important to be mindful of what is a necessity and what is a nice-to-have when searching for a home. And the best way to understand this is to put together a list of desired features for your home search.
The first step? Get pre-approved for a mortgage. This helps you better understand what you can borrow for your home loan, and that plays an important role in how you craft your list. After all, you do not want to fall in love with an out of reach home. Once you have a good grasp of your budget, you can begin to list (and prioritize) all the features of a home you would like.
Here is a great way to think about them before you begin:
Must-Haves If a house does not have these features, it will not work for you and your lifestyle (examples: distance from work or loved ones, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, etc.).
Nice-To-Haves These are features that you would love to have but can live without. Nice-To-Haves are not deal breakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of the these, it is a contender (examples: a second home office, a garage, etc.).
Dream State This is where you can really think big. Again, these are not features you need, but if you find a home in your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it is a clear winner (examples: farmhouse sink, multiple walk-in closets, etc.).
Finally, once you have your list and categorized it in a way that works for you, discuss it with your real estate advisor. They can help you refine the list further, coach you through the best way to stick to it, and find a home in your area that meets your needs.
Putting together your list of necessary features for your next home might seem like a small task, but it is a crucial first step on your homebuying journey today. If you are ready to find a home that fits your needs, please let me know.