Before you start looking at properties, you should sit down and make a list of what you’re looking for in a new home. While it’d be great to find a home that meets all of your criteria, it’s essential to know what you’re willing to compromise on and what your deal-breakers are.
These five factors are some of the most important things to consider. Knowing how you feel about each one before you start your search can help make your house hunt a fast and efficient one.
1. Price (and Budget)
This is probably the most important factor to consider when you start your search. If you can, try to get pre-approved by a lender so that you know your actual price range. You can decide whether or not you want to max out your budget or to be more conservative, but you need to know what you can afford.
Deciding where you want to live is the first step in searching for a home. You don’t have to be overly specific, but knowing what county or school district you’d like to be in is crucial for starting your search. Most home buyers have to be flexible about location, so decide how far away from your target area you’re willing to go.
3. Age of the Home
As homes age, they typically require more work. The HVAC system, roof, and other major parts of the home start to wear down after several years and might need to be replaced. If an older home has been well-maintained, then it might not need more work, but you should keep potential repairs in mind when you’re deciding between a newer home and an older one.
A lot of land means a lot of land maintenance or an extra expense to pay someone to maintain it. Be realistic about how much time (or money) you want to spend on yard work, and make your decision based on that.
5. Overall Upkeep
Buying a house and making it a home are two different things, and many people overlook the cost of the latter. Will you need to buy new paint? Will any minor things need to be replaced? Do you have to do any custom work? Think about how many improvements you want to do and how much you’re willing to spend.
Knowing how you feel about each of these factors will help you find a home faster than going into it blindly. After you decide what you’re looking for, contact an agent and begin your search. Good luck!