Looking for a new home can and will be quite a confusing and even stressful experience at first. Whether you have just settled down with the person of your dreams and decided to buy a new house, or you just got that promotion and can finally afford to purchase your first home. It is going to be frightening and you will feel lost if you do not have the right tools. After all, it is the single biggest purchase that all of us will make in our lifetimes; therefore, the least we can do is be careful and meticulous. I am here to give you four vital pieces of advice when picking out the right home.
Location, Location, Location
This almost goes without saying. One of the most important aspects of a dream home is everything around it. Get acquainted with the neighborhood before even checking out the house. Never rush in for a purchase just because it is cheap; there is more to buying a home than just the price. Maybe you are a private person and enjoy the solitude of a house in the country. That is perfectly fine, but keep your surroundings in mind and remember that a good home in a bad neighborhood is much worse than a bad home in a good neighborhood.
Keep in mind not only the appreciation value of the home due to its location but also how your quality of life will be in that location. Just because you can comfortably afford the apartment in San Francisco does not mean that you should buy it if you dislike city life.
The landowner usually knows exactly how much the property costs and how much he or she wants for it. It also goes without saying that you cannot rush in without a guaranteed, stable budget. The last thing you want is to be in more debt than you can handle. If your dream home is too expensive for you right now, then do not worry. Simply grow your savings over the years by investing in a smaller property or a property in a less expensive neighborhood. Do not give up on your dream home.
It is also important to avoid renting. Paying rent is just paying someone else’s mortage. Why pay your landlord’s mortgage when you can pay your own? With the rising rent prices, dealing with a mortgage can be more affordable.
If you already have kids or are planning on having a few in the future, then never forget about accommodating them. Always remember that your children will take up about twice as much space you originally thought they would, and that is putting it lightly. Understandably you might not be able to afford to allow every child to have their own room, a two bedroom apartment is not the way to go when you have three or four kids. Maybe you should opt instead for a more remote, yet more spacious, solution which will benefit everyone. Let’s face it, nobody wants to feel like they are living in an episode of “Full House“.
Repairs and Customizations
It always pays off to be detailed and ruthless when scanning the home for damages during an open house or tour. Do not allow yourself to be rushed and always ask for a log of any repairs done to it. While it is easy to be fooled by a house with a fancy porch and air conditioning in every room, always think two steps ahead. That “minor“ cockroach problem and loose floorboards might not prove so negligible in the future. Plan ahead any restorations or improvements you want to make to the house and always keep your budget in mind. If you have a savvy realtor, he or she will try to haggle the price so that the cost of future renovations are kept in mind.
Unfortunately for many first time homebuyers, finding the dream home can be an exhausting process. I would love to extend my services as a mortgage broker, realtist, and real estate agent to offer consulting on mortgages, home buying, home selling, and helping you and your family reach the American Dream. Whether you are climbing out of the pit of poverty or moving into Orange County, The Power Is Now and I are here for all of your real estate and finance needs. Take your life into your hands now, because the power is now!
Eric Lawrence Frazier, MBA
President and CEO