1. Choose the Perfect Home Within Your Budget
Before you start looking for your perfect home, set a budget. Consider how much money you have available as cash and get pre-approved for a mortgage with a lender. Once everything is on the table, set a budget, and stick to it. Looking at more expensive houses will just stress you out, and it won’t be worth it in the long run.
2. House or Condo
Think about your needs, and decide what kind of home would be best for you. All options come with benefits and drawbacks. For example, a house offers a lot of privacy and more space, but it’s more expensive and requires a lot of maintenance and yard work. Living in a condo or townhouse means sharing walls with neighbors, but you don’t have to worry about as much maintenance. The community might have additional amenities like a shared gym, clubhouse, or pool.
3. Location and Neighborhood
A big factor in finding a perfect home is the location. Think about your daily routine and schedule and if the location measures up to your needs. For example, would your commute to work be too long? Is the grocery store far away? How about the post office, school, bus stop, etc.? Another thing to consider is the safety of the neighborhood. Find out if there is a neighborhood watch group in the area and what the crime statistics are.
4. Choose the Perfect Home Considering the Size
Make sure that the house is the right size for all your needs. The most obvious one is the room count; think about your current and near-future plans. Do you plan on expanding your family? Do you need a home office (or more than one)? Measure your largest furniture beforehand to make sure it will fit in your new home. Consider storage space, number of kitchen cabinets, and closet sizes.
5. Look for the Problems
Don’t be fooled by a clean, nicely decorated house. Look carefully for possible flaws and problems. Most people don’t look up at the ceilings, which can show signs of water damage. Most importantly, schedule a professional home inspection to find problems that you don’t know how to detect.
6. Renovation Potential
Can you move in right away, or is it a fixer-upper? Consider everything that needs fixing and renovation, and things that you would like to change, and calculate the costs. When you add that to the price of the home, is it still worth it, or did it become more expensive than other places in the neighborhood?