In todays market, low inventory dominates the conversation in many areas of the country. It can often be frustrating to be a first-time homebuyer if you arent prepared. Here are five tips from realtor.coms article, How to Find Your Dream HomeWithout Losing Your Mind.
1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before You Start Your Search
One way to show youre serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage. Even if youre in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach. This will help you avoid the disappointment of falling in love with a home well outside your price range.
2. Know the Difference Between Your Must-Haves and Would-Like-To-Haves
Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Before you start your search, list all the features of a home you would like. Qualify them as must-haves, should-haves, or absolute-wish list items. This will help you stay focused on whats most important.
3. Research and Choose a Neighborhood Where You Want to Live
Every neighborhood has unique charm. Before you commit to a home based solely on the house itself, take a test-drive of the area. Make sure it meets your needs for amenities, commute, school district, etc. and then spend a weekend exploring before you commit.
4. Pick a House Style You Love and Stick to It
Evaluate your familys needs and settle on a style of home that will best serve those needs. Just because youve narrowed your search to a zip code doesnt mean you need to tour every listing in that vicinity. An example from the article says, if you have several younger kids and dont want your bedroom on a different level, steer clear of Cape Codstyle homes, which typically feature two or more bedrooms on the upper level and the master on the main.
5. Document Your Home Visits
Once you start touring homes, the features of each individual home will start to blur together. The article suggests keeping your camera handy and making notes on the listing sheet to document what you love and dont love about each property you visit.
In a high-paced, competitive environment, any advantage you can give yourself will help you on your path to buying your dream home.