Finding your dream home does not happen by accident. It is rare that the first residence that you walk into is absolutely perfect in all respects. It is easy to get caught up in the time consuming task of sorting through MLS listings, local home magazines and publications and touring open houses only to feel frustrated that nothing seems quite right. Finding your dream home actually starts with a little self-introspection and a close look at what you and your family really need in a home and what features will also make you extremely happy.
So take a few minutes out of your home search to sit back and go through these simple questions to better help guide you to fulfilling your dream.
Start by defining your list of housing requirements. This can be a long list and that’s okay. If you are a devotee of the home shows on television or a fan of architecture magazines you probably already have a good idea of your preferences. Are you looking for a single-family home, a condominium or a townhouse, a one story or two story? Decide if you are more comfortable with new construction or would consider a historic home. List the number of bedrooms and bathrooms that you require. Even go so far as to write down the type of flooring that you prefer be it carpet, tile, hardwood or laminate.
Start by getting pre-approved for a mortgage as this number will be your price benchmark and will be invaluable as you enter the home buying process. Once you are pre-approved give some thought to if you are willing to do renovations on a home or if you need it turnkey ready the day that you move in. This decision can affect your choice of price points.
Sometimes we don’t have a great deal of choice in the particular city or town that we are purchasing a home in due to relocation for employment, but we can certainly have control over the neighborhood that we choose. This is where your personality and personal preferences really make a difference. If you like wide open spaces and few neighbors and don’t mind a little drive to the grocery store, you may want to consider a more rural location. If you like to have everything within walking distance and enjoy the excitement of restaurants and entertainment only blocks away, you may wish to look at properties that are in the midst of a city or downtown.
When choosing your home also look at how tolerant you and your family are willing to be for a commute as the time spent in the car and away from home can significantly affect the daily routine.
Your greatest ally when you start the search for your dream home will be your real estate agent. They will have access to properties and listings that non-Realtor wouldn’t even know about. Make sure that you are comfortable with your agent and feel confident with their skills. It is perfectly acceptable to “interview” Realtors to find the one that seems to understand your needs the best and has the level of experience that you require. Visiting Open Houses and meeting Realtors at these events is an excellent way to get to know the different Real Estate Agencies in the area where you are looking for a home.
If you take too long between viewings of homes you run the risk of the one you really want being sold by the time that you make a decision. Block out a two or three day period and plan for up to six showing and open houses per day. More than that many and you run the risk of fatigue where even if it is the perfect house you won’t be in the mood to get excited about it. If you plan for your viewing blitz on weekdays you will often be able to get more undivided time with your real estate agent.
Your dream home is out there just waiting for you. If you are willing to think outside the box a little and take the time to do some soul searching first, you will know the perfect house when you step inside the front door. Let your Realtor guide you and make sure that you use every service possible. For home listings and Open Houses in your area to help get you started, visit us today at www.OpenHouseDay.com.