With the winter months bringing on the snow and cold temperatures, it seems like Spring is far far away. However, it is not as far off as you may think. When it comes to the Spring market in Real Estate, it is just around the corner. The inventory of homes is increasing a little more each day as sellers prepare them for their debut. So as a buyer, it is important to start exploring your options sooner than later. Whether a first time home buyer, or a seasoned home buyer, here are some tips that can help you in your search:
- Take Picture
When you begin to seriously home search, you could be seeing dozens of homes in a week. In order to keep track of what is what, be sure to take pictures and maybe even some notes, after each visit. This will allow you to go back after a day of house hunting, and think back to what properties you liked or disliked, and the pictures can act as a trigger to keep you from getting mixed up.
- Don’t Do It Alone
Whether you are searching for your new home with a spouse, friend, or by yourself; be sure to bring someone along with you when you take a walk through. It’s always good to have that second opinion, and extra brain power to make sure you cover all the important questions.
- Find out how much you can afford
Try to look at houses that do not exceed your budget. Pick a reasonable price point for yourself, and stick with it. As much as you may want to see, what appears to be your dream home, there’s a chance all those perks will come at a price.
- Consider the Proximity to your place of work
Although a neighborhood may seem great! Consider how it works into your daily schedule. How does it affect your commute? Is a great house worth the extra time back and forth every day?
- Ask about utilities and other maintenance costs
These costs may be overlooked by some, but it is important to account for these in your budget as well. It is not just the purchase of the house, but rather the costs that come along with it, that are very important. It is key to have a rough idea of your overall expenses before making such a big decision.
- Budget for additional costs
Sometimes a specific budget may not allow for us to find something that is exactly what we want. However, maybe buying a home with a few less upgrades, will allow for a long term renovation process? All things to consider.
- Use a real estate agent
Although you may feel as though you want to jump right into the home search, and give your own instincts a chance, you will soon realize that it can be a tad more overwhelming than you think. A real estate agent can solve those issues and help you to maintain a focus, and discover the best available options for your needs. Save yourself the time and aggravation, and find a real estate agent today!
- Sleep on it before you decide
Although the goal is to find the home that is perfect for you, don’t move too fast when you think you may have found it. Take a night to sleep on it, and take everything into consideration. You may wake up feeling a little bit differently about how perfect it is, or on the other hand, you may find that it is really the one!
- Decide on a neighborhood
Deciding on a neighborhood can do a few things to help your search. It can narrow things down to start. A particular neighborhood may provide access to a great school system, or maybe put you in the same vicinity as family and friends? Either way, making the choice of where you want to be, will begin to steer you in a direction. It will help you narrow down what you can and cannot reasonably expect to find, based on your price range as well.
- Decide what you NEED vs WANT
There may be things in your home that you want…but you do not necessarily need them. And those wants can come at a hefty cost. In order to stay in budget, focus on what you need in your home, and make practical decisions to keep within your price point. Remember, you can always make updates down the road to achieve the “stylish” aspects that you want.
Now get out there, and start house hunting!
(Graphic Credit: Craig Barrett-mnonlinemls.com)