Buying a Home
Purchasing a home is probably the largest financial decision you will ever make. Whether this is your first purchase or you are moving on to a different home that better meets your needs, this decision must be made carefully.
Creating A New Home Wish List
Before the home search begins, your real estate agent will want to know as much as possible about the features and amenities you desire. To help your agent better serve you, divide your preferences into “negotiable” and “non-negotiable.”
Here are some details to consider:
- Exterior – type of home, age of property, preferences in architectural style, number of stories, type of foundation, roof construction, lot size and/or location, landscape preferences, pool and garage.
- Interior – include number of bedrooms, bathrooms, minimum square feet, central air/heat, electric or gas appliances, fireplace, kitchen amenities, formals, office or study, laundry room, flooring preferences, how much renovation will you be willing to do and must your home accommodate any special needs.
The finer the details on your wish list, the more effective your home search will be. You should divide your lists into negotiable and non-negotiable items; this will allow some flexibility during the search, especially as your agent scouts for homes on your behalf.
Defining Your Needs
Congratulations on your decision to purchase a new home! Before you start your home buying journey it is best to clearly define and understand why you want to buy.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you tired of paying rent?
- Have you outgrown your current home?
- Do you want to shorten your commute?
Having a clear sense of your reasons for buying will help you chose the right home.
Deciding On A Location
Where you buy not only affects the home’s current and future value, but it also affects your lifestyle. Your agent will be able to conduct a more targeted home search if you outline your preferences in neighborhoods and nearby amenities.
Items that should be considered and communicated to your agent include:
- commute time
- school districts
- desirable neighborhoods
- proximity to restaurants, retail, airport, major highways, health care facilities, and parks
- length of time you plan to live in your home
Considering New Home Construction
Whether to buy an existing home or have one built is yet another decision to make during the home-buying process. If you decide to go with new construction, a real estate agent can be a powerful advocate in your corner as you negotiate upgrades, a move-in date and other terms with the home builder.
Things to consider in this area are:
- selecting a builder
- using your real estate agent to work directly with the builder representative
- understanding the timing of new home construction