By Andrew Hill @ www.newhomesource.com
Buying a home is instinctual. You hear this all the time, but what does it mean? You can find a three- million dollar mansion you would be thrilled to own, but if you’ve only got $250,000 to spend, then you’re more than 10x out of your budget. It’s easy to fall in love with a home you can’t afford. The trick is falling in love with a home in your price range.
To find the perfect home, you have to know what it is you’re looking for, and this begins with making a list of needs vs. wants. The needs list should include price, number of rooms, square footage, neighborhood, and possibly school district. Many of these factors depend on location.
Location is so important because it is the one factor about your home that you can never change. With enough time, effort, and money, you can alter nearly everything about your property: the color, flooring, appliances- you can even knock out a wall or add an extension onto your home. But you can never change your home’s location, so you need to be conscious of where you’d like to live. The “wants” list will include criteria that can be changed if necessary (flooring, color, appliances, etc.) One you have firmly established these lists, you can begin touring homes. To make these lists and your home search effective, you must not look at any homes that don’t meet your list of needs. To help with this, consider using a realtor.
As a first time homebuyer, you might be trying to avoid realtors like the plague. But despite what you’ve heard, other than a few penny pinchers, most realtors are not out to take all your money via a quick, high-pressure sell. Realtor’s reputations depend on giving you the best service possible. Therefore, they want to put you in a home you can enjoy and afford. In addition, using a realtor comes at no cost to you, because it is the seller who pays their commission.
The sooner you consult a realtor, the sooner you can narrow down your list of needs and wants. From here, the realtor can use his/her expertise to scour the MLS (Multiple Listings Service) to find a number of homes for you to tour. By letting a realtor do the legwork, you save yourself the time and energy of trying to find homes that meet your parameters. After this, you can sit back, enjoy the home tours, and, with any luck, fall in love with a home that meets both your want and your needs.