STEP 1. Set Your Goals & Priorities
Finding your dream home starts with determining why you want to move. Are you looking for more space? Have you considered better schools? You will need less maintenance. Are you fed up with paying rent and not building equity? Identifying the reasons you want to move is a good way to prioritize your home search.
Do not forget to consider how your situation might change in the coming years. Are you planning to change jobs? Do you want to have more children? Have more children? Get a pet?
STEP 2: Determine Your Budget
Financial professionals often recommend the “28/36 rule” for determining how much money you can spend on a house. This rule says that you should not spend more than 28% on housing expenses (e.g. mortgage, taxes, and insurance) and no more than 36% on total debt obligations (i.e. housing expenses plus any other obligations like student loans, car loans, credit cards, etc. ).3
The 28/36 rule is only a guideline. Pre-qualifying for a mortgage or getting pre-approved will help you get a better idea of the amount you can borrow before you start looking for homes. To get the maximum buying potential, add your pre-approved mortgage amount and your down payment.
STEP 3 – Choose a Location
Real estate is all about WHERE you buy, as well as WHAT you buy.
Are you more comfortable in a suburban, urban or rural setting? What commute distance are you willing and able to travel? What neighborhoods are close to your favourite schools? These decisions can have a significant impact on your daily life as you live in the house.
It is also important to think about how likely the area will appreciate in the future. When it comes to selling your home, choosing the right neighborhood will increase the potential profit. You can increase your home’s value by choosing the right neighborhood.
STEP 4 – Decide which Features You Want (and Need) in a Home
Begin with the basics: how many bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage you want. Are you more comfortable with a one-story layout or a two-story design? Are you looking for a swimming pool?
You may not find the home you want, or the price you can afford. Most people have to make compromises when buying a house.
For a bigger, more luxurious home in the suburbs, some buyers will choose to commute longer. Some buyers will give up hardwood floors and an updated kitchen to ensure their children attend the school they choose.
Return to STEP 1 if you have to make a difficult decision about what compromises to make in your home search. Are you unsure of your original motivations and goals for moving? It is often possible to get the clarity you seek by reassessing your priorities.
STEP 5 – Meet with a Real Estate Agent
An experienced real estate agent will take the stress out of the home-search process. We will help you in every way, from setting goals to getting a loan to choosing the right neighborhood for your needs to finding the right place to live.
A professional agent has greater access to past sales data and market statistics than anyone else. A customized search can be set up to notify you when a new listing that you like becomes available. Even better, we are notified of many of the most desirable homes even before they go on the market.
It might seem that our VIP service is quite expensive. The good news is that we are able to represent you during the entire process of buying a home. The home seller pays a fee to a buyer agent at closing. You can get our expertise, time, and experience without having to pay a penny. It’s not surprising that 87% of buyers prefer to buy their home through an agent. 1
Although we have listed it as STEP 5, it is not too early or too late to reach out to an agent about purchasing a home. There are steps that you can and should take to prepare for buying a home, regardless of whether you’re looking to purchase today, next month or next year.
For a complimentary consultation, call us today!
This post was written by Josh Dotoli! Josh is the owner of Josh Dotoli Group which is a laser-focused real estate team at Compass comprised of industry experts selling Fort Lauderdale’s best neighborhoods. This dynamic group is one of the top-selling real estate teams in South Florida with over $94 million in sales in the past 12 months alone. Looking for homes for sale in Rio vista FL we are the real estate team for you!
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