1. Figure out what your ‘perfect home’ looks like.
Write down on a piece of paper all of the things you must have in your new home, things that would be nice to have and things that don’t really matter.
2. Purchase a home that stays in budget.
Make sure to get pre-approved for a loan before going out to look at houses. It will make the buying process much easier and you will know which houses to look at.
3. Bigger isn’t always better.
While we all dream of having a huge mansion, it’s good to think about what will be best for your family. Figure out how many rooms you need to fit your family comfortably and look in that range.
4. Think about remodeling.
Many homes you will look at may not be in the best condition, but think about the potential of the house. Would painting and new wood floors turn it into your dream house? How about a kitchen or bathroom remodel? There are many easy fix-ups such as adding new light fixtures and painting that can turn your house into the perfect home.
5. Location is important.
Check the surrounding area of the home. Drive around the 2 mile radius to see what is around your home. Make sure it is in an area you feel comfortable with. Find out what school district you’ll be in. Even if you don’t have kids, you may want to think about the school district you live in for resale. You may also want to take the commute to your work and see how long it will take you.
6. Do your research.
Research property values in the area. Stalk your neighborhood and find out what it’s like at all times of the day. Is it a family friendly neighborhood? You could even knock on the neighbors doors before buying. I have done that.
7. Do a home inspection.
The home inspector will look at everything in a home and give you a non-bias opinion. They will also tell you the true value of the home you are looking at. It’s better to spend a couple hundred dollars doing a home inspection then finding out the house had several problems.
8. Picture your family living in the house.
When you walk into the home, can you picture your family living there? Does it have a good feeling? Picture your family living in each room and see you how feel.
9. Leave room to grow.
Make sure your ‘perfect home’ has extra storage and gives you room to grow.
10. Don’t put your expectations too high.
Realize that most houses aren’t perfect to begin with. Even if you are building your dream home, there are always things that could have been different. Be flexible. Once you move in and add your own style it will soon become your dream home.