Buying a new home, whether it’s your first or your fifth, is a big undertaking. Below is a list of a few important questions to consider before signing on the dotted line. Keep reading to learn more!
Do you have a local expert working for you?
Hiring a buyer’s agent is critical in today’s market. Without an expert with their “finger on the pulse” at all times, you may not land your dream home. Your buyer’s agent will explain the process from start to finish, help you figure out exactly what you are looking for in your new home, take you on showings, and negotiate on your behalf. A buyer’s agent will help you compose an offer based on their knowledge of comparable properties and sales. It’s ok to speak with multiple agents prior to starting the search, to be sure you find the right agent for you.
What is your budget?
Budget is one of the most important factors when buying a home. Having a firm and realistic budget will set you up for success. Speak with a mortgage lender and get pre-approved. Being pre-approved will show sellers that you have the financial means to make an offer on their home. Try to avoid looking at homes you can’t afford, which will end up being a waste of time and disappointing you. Speak with your lender to be sure you’re staying on track.
Where do you want to live?
This is a broad question, with many factors to consider. What town or city would you like to live in, what are the schools like if you have children, distance to stores and amenities? Before making the move from a city to rural location, or vice versa, be sure to do some research, or better yet, speak to a few locals to get their take on the location!
How do you feel about a commute?
This question is something that can sneak up on you. When you find that dream home it can be easy to brush off the idea of tacking an extra half an hour onto your daily commute. In reality, spending an extra half an hour in your car each day can really add up, not to mention the potential for getting stuck in rush hour traffic, or having to drive that extra distance during inclement weather. If you have or plan on having children, don’t forget to calculate the distance to and from their schools as well.
What size home do you want?
How many beds and bathrooms do you need? If you have plans for a growing family in the future, be sure to consider that as well. If you entertain frequently, a guest room is a good idea. Working from home currently? Maybe you want a home with a home office space to work out of. Conversely, if you’re downsizing, maybe you don’t need all the space of a larger home, and prefer to look at something smaller. Share all of this with your Real Estate Agent, so they only show you homes that fit your search criteria.
What is the home’s condition?
Sure, fixer uppers look so fun on tv, but taking on the project yourself could end up being more work than anticipated. You might get the house at a lesser cost, but realistically home repair and updating is expensive, often with unforeseen problems and costs. Are you prepared to take on whatever challenges an older, fixer-upper might present? Do you have the finances in place to handle the expenses? Be sure before you sign on the dotted line.