Buying a home can frazzle anyone’s nerves. How does one even start? It’s more than just finding the homes you can afford. Buying a home will be a long term commitment on your finances and play a major role in your life for years to come. One of the best ways to get started is to make a wishlist.
You can create a simple outline of not only what you want in a home but also what you need you will be able to better visualize the road ahead and avoid possible pitfalls. Knowing what you want and having a plan is the best way to go into any situation; home buying is no different.
Where Do You Want to Live?
Where you choose to live can also effect the cost of the home. You may be able to afford a lot more house if you’re willing to live a little outside of town in a lot of cases, but you’ve got to consider fuel costs, distance to work, school, and activities.
How Much Home Can You Afford?
This is always one of the first hurdle to cross, but it can often be more of a pleasant surprise. Home prices are very affordable in Idaho right now. Talking with your REALTOR® will help you determine how much home you can afford.
What’s Your Style?
Do you want a condo downtown, or do you need more room? In a lot of cases the amount of space you will need for your family and storage play a major role in deciding what type of living space might be best. You don’t want to be townhouse shopping if you have horses and an RV to work into the homestead!
Is Education a Factor?
Do you have a particular school or district you want you kids to attend? Maybe they have some preference based on where their friends go (then again, maybe you do too!).
Good Neighbors Make Good Neighborhoods
Consider not only the location of the community itself but also the type of neighborhood and neighbors. You may not want to live in a really active tight-knit community, or you might want a subdivision that offers more common space or a pool. Make sure you find out about any HOA restrictions up front because they could end up playing a big part in how enjoyable a neighborhood could be.
Is it a Fixer Upper?
This goes without saying, but there is a lot of leeway too. Some buyers want homes ready to move in with not an extra thing to do, others like to apply a little of their own elbow grease in getting a place just the way they want. It really is up to you, are you a fixer upper or someone who likes less muss when moving?
The Little Details Matter
This can almost be a list of it’s own! But while you’re still in the planning stages don’t be afraid to get a little whimsical. Put those custom faucets or soaker tub on the list; unless you are really shooting for the moon you may be surprised what your REALTOR® can find for you.
Once you’ve got your list down give a good deal of thought to what items you might be willing to compromise on. Put stars or other markings next to these items to make a reminder that these things might not be KEY to your perfect home — you can always gold plate the commode later after all.
The most important thing on the list that we haven’t mentioned here? Your REALTOR®. Your real estate agent is key to the success of finding your home and making it your own. More than just someone to help shovel the paperwork a qualified REALTOR® should be a source of current market information, as well as area information to help you find just what you’re looking for. Finding one is easy – just contact us!