Before you begin your search for a new home there are some things you need to think about and a list of priorities you need to make that will help narrow down your search.
- What kind of house do you prefer?
- Is your dream home one or two stories?
- Do you like a particular architectural style?
- How big do you require or how much square-footage is needed in a home?
- How many bedrooms? Is a large master suite a must-have?
These are questions you need to answer in advance, before you start house hunting. Armed with this list, your real estate agent will find homes for you to consider that fit what you are looking for.
But be warned, you may never find a house that has every single thing you want.
However you will find a home that has most of the things you want, and possibly all of the things you need. So be prepared to be a little flexible.
The difference between needs and wants.
A home not fitting your “need” can be a deal breaker, but a home not satisfying a “want” is not. If you find a house that meets all of your needs and some of your wants, you’ve probably found your new home.
Understand and be realistic in what you can afford
Your budget is usually going to dictate and perhaps limit the features you can afford when buying a home. If you want a three-bedroom home with at least 2,000 square feet, but your budget only allows for a two-bedroom home of 1,600 square feet, you will need to be making a few compromises on something.
Put “must have” items on a separate list from “wants”
Make them clear to your real estate agent. If you are moving from a two-bedroom home because your family has outgrown the space and requires a third bedroom, then the third bedroom criteria is not negotiable. You should not waste your time looking at two-bedroom homes. Your list of needs should only include things that would be hard or impossible to change, like location, the lot, or the size of the home for example.
Avoid trying to find the “dream home” picture-perfect fantasy
Try to stop yourself from picturing your “dream home” and trying to live up to that ideal as you look at homes with your Realtor. The homes that are within your budget will probably not live up to “the dream”. If there’s a big discrepancy between your dream home and what you can afford it can make an otherwise exciting process of searching for a new home long and frustrating for both you and your agent. Be open to compromise and keep your dreams on the more realistic side of things. Be ready to scale down the dream if need-be. Ultimately you will find the best in what you can afford and what meets your needs and desires in a new home.