Lori Madden's Blog
In the quest to find a new home that you love, there are two fundamental things you must know: how much you can realistically afford to spend and what you need to be happy.
Qualifying for a mortgage is one of the first hurdles on the road to home ownership, but loan approval doesn't necessarily mean you can comfortably afford a house you have your eye on.
There are other expenses to factor into the equation, such as closing costs, the down payment, school and property taxes, possible HOA fees, and maintenance costs.
If a house you're considering needs a lot of repairs, updating, and decorating, for instance, those projects could take a big bite out of your bank account and household budget. First-time home buyers and growing families moving into larger homes often have to consider the cost of furniture, new window treatments, and painting supplies. People moving from an apartment or condo to a house may also need to buy a lawnmower, tools, and property maintenance machinery (weed whackers, leaf blowers, snow blowers, etc.)
Once you've determined that you can absorb all those costs without being "house poor," the next step is creating a list of requirements, preferences, and lifestyle goals. For example, if privacy is important to you, you'll need to narrow your search to homes that have a sufficient amount of frontage and space between neighbors and streets. Fences, privacy hedges, and mature trees could also help provide you with the kind of living environment you're looking for.
While the emotional appeal of a house is an important aspect of home-buying decisions, the location of a property and the amount of living space it provides will play a central role in your level of satisfaction. In addition to having enough bedrooms, bathrooms, and storage space, you may also want to consider things like the home's architectural style and whether the floorplan is to your liking.
Many families prioritize the quality of the school district, the look and feel of the neighborhood, and the distance from shopping centers, recreation, and needed services. Also highly desirable is a daily commute to work that isn't too grueling or time consuming!
Since everyone has different goals and needs when it comes to finding the ideal home, there's no one-size-fits-all strategy for zeroing in on the house of your dreams. Although there are a lot of websites that provide great ideas on everything from flooring and countertops to cabinetry and room color, having your real estate agent show you houses that match your specifications is the most productive thing you can do.
Getting out there and physically viewing and walking through houses in your price range will eventually lead you to the home that's just right for you and your family. It's a process in which you need to immerse yourself, but with a little persistence and a clear idea of what you want, you're sure to find the home that checks off most (if not all) of the boxes on your priority and wish lists!
A home showing represents a learning opportunity for a homebuyer. If you know how to plan ahead for a home showing, you can optimize the value of this opportunity.
Ultimately, preparing for a home showing can be simple – here are three tips to help you get ready for any home showing, at any time.
1. Evaluate a Home Listing Closely
A home listing enables you to learn about a house's age and condition. It also may include pictures that highlight a home's rooms and features. Thus, if you assess a home listing closely, you'll be better equipped than ever before to determine whether a house may be right for you.
As you examine a home listing, it generally is a good idea to think about additional questions that you may have about a house. If you craft a list of questions prior to a home showing, you'll be ready to get the answers that you need to make an informed decision about a residence.
2. Make a Home Showing Checklist
A home showing allows you to examine a residence both inside and out. As such, it may be beneficial to create a home showing checklist that ensures you remember to analyze all aspects of a house.
Be sure to include assessments of an attic, basement and other house areas in your checklist. In addition, it may be helpful to consider checking out a home's proximity to parks, schools and other landmarks. Because the more information that you obtain during a home showing, the more likely it becomes that you can make the best-possible choice regarding a residence.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
If you plan to attend a home showing, hiring a real estate agent is essential. A real estate agent can help you prep for a home showing and ensure you can review all aspects of a residence in no time at all.
Prior to a home showing, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying goals. Next, this housing market professional will offer expert recommendations to guarantee that you are fully prepared to attend a home showing.
Let's not forget about the comprehensive support that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either. A real estate agent will keep you up to date about new houses that become available in your area and help you set up home showings. And if you want to submit an offer on a residence, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive homebuying proposal.
For those who want to explore the housing market, attending home showings is crucial. If you're able to make the most of a home showing, you can boost your chances of enjoying a seamless homebuying experience.
Thanks to the aforementioned tips, any homebuyer can get ready for a home showing. Take advantage of these tips, and you can approach a home showing with the confidence that you need to succeed.
If you intend to buy a house, it generally is a good idea to establish realistic property buying expectations. That way, you can plan ahead for the homebuying journey and avoid potential problems that otherwise may prevent you from achieving your desired results.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you manage your expectations as you pursue your dream residence.
1. Create Homebuying Criteria
With homebuying criteria, you can determine exactly what you want from your dream residence. Then, you can narrow your house search and speed up your quest to discover your ideal home.
Think about where you want to live. For instance, if you prefer the hustle and bustle of the big city over life in a small town, you may want to hone your house search to properties in the city of your choice. Or, if you have always dreamed about owning a home near the beach, now may be the ideal time to transform your dream into a reality.
Don't forget to consider the features you want from your dream home too. Make a list of home must-haves and wants, and you can streamline your home search.
2. Set Homebuying Goals
Establishing homebuying goals can help you build a roadmap for your home search. This roadmap then will enable you to identify potential homebuying hurdles and resolve such issues before they escalate.
Homebuying goals can guide you along the homebuying journey. You can create as many or as few goals as you'd like, and by doing so, simplify your search for your ideal residence.
In addition, it is important to be flexible with your homebuying goals. And remember, if you fail to accomplish a homebuying goal by a specific date, you can always adjust your homebuying roadmap as needed.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
If you are unsure about what to expect during the homebuying journey, there is no need to stress. In fact, you can hire an expert real estate agent who can help you establish realistic property buying expectations from day one.
A real estate agent first learns about you and your homebuying goals. He or she next will put together a personalized homebuying strategy for you and ensure you can complete a successful property buying journey.
As you search for your dream home, a real estate agent will set up home showings and keep you up to date about new houses that meet your homebuying criteria. He or she also will help you submit an offer to purchase on any house you want to acquire. And once an offer to purchase is accepted, a real estate agent will help you navigate the final steps of the property buying journey.
Ready to begin your search for your dream residence? If you understand how to manage your homebuying expectations, you should have no trouble achieving the best-possible results at each stage of the homebuying journey.
Are you getting ready to add your house to the real estate market? Before you list your residence, it may be worthwhile to interview several real estate agents.
Hiring the right real estate agent can make a world of difference for any home seller, at any time. In fact, with the right real estate agent at your disposal, you can increase the likelihood of a quick, seamless and profitable home selling experience.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to interview various real estate agents prior to listing your home, and these include:
1. You can find a real estate agent who makes you feel comfortable.
It's one thing to read a real estate agent's online profile; it's another to actually sit down, interview a real estate agent and find out whether you're comfortable working with this housing market professional.
When it comes to finding a real estate agent to help you sell your home, nothing beats a face-to-face interview. This meeting will enable you to learn about a real estate agent's personality and demeanor and ask this person how he or she will approach the process of selling your home.
Setting up meetings with several real estate agents will enable you to evaluate a wide range of housing market professionals. Then, you can select a real estate agent who makes you feel good about the home selling process.
2. You can employ a real estate agent with extensive industry experience.
Allocating the necessary time and resources to assess a real estate agent's experience is paramount. That way, you can find out if a real estate agent has what it takes to sell your home and optimize its value.
With several real estate agent interviews, you can evaluate multiple housing market professionals and their respective industry experience. As a result, you'll be better equipped than ever before to hire a real estate expert to help you sell your residence.
3. You can work with a real estate agent who won't take "No" for an answer.
The right real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to assist you in any way possible. If you meet with multiple real estate agents, you can find one who is dedicated to excellence in everything that he or she does.
Ideally, you should try to hire a real estate agent who is persistent and pays attention to even the minor details. This housing market professional won't take "No" for an answer, and as such, can help you overcome myriad challenges throughout the home selling process.
Of course, during real estate agent interviews, you should ask a housing market professional how he or she handles tough situations. Whether it's a difficult negotiation with a homebuyer or a slow housing market, the right real estate agent will know how to handle adversity time and time again.
Kick off real estate agent interviews today – you'll be glad you did. And once you find the right real estate agent, you should have no trouble listing your home and getting the best price for it.