What to Know BEFORE You Start House-Hunting
As exciting as it is to start your journey towards home ownership (or even up- and down-sizing), there are a few things you should consider first.
Most importantly, you need to determine your purchase range. Having the proper budget for your future home is the best way to ensure future financial success! To create a proper budget, you need to look at your monthly income and expenses to determine how much you can afford in monthly mortgage payments. This can be done using the My Mortgage Planner app available for download on the Apple store or Google Play. From there, you can determine your purchase price! Ideally, it is best to try and find a home that fits your needs that is below your maximum budget, which will give you a lower mortgage payment and a little more financial freedom and security for the future.
Beyond determining what you can afford, you need to identify your housing needs. It is important to know that, unless you build it yourself, no home will have everything you are looking for. However, you can find a home with most of the things you want and all of what you need if you are able to be a little bit flexible and realistic about your deal breakers. You should have a list of your must-have items that you cannot do without, such as needing a second bathroom or a third bedroom for a growing family. Your list of must-have items, or needs, should be things you cannot change; flooring and paint color should never be on this list.
Once you have your list of needs and your budget, you can connect with me and begin the pre-approval process (more information on that below). I can also help to connect you with a real estate agent to begin your search.
Remember, whether it is your first or fourth house, home-hunting can be a process. Be prepared to revisit your list and homes several times to find the right fit. It is out there! As long as you stay within your budget, you will not only build equity in your new home but you will have a solid financial foundation to continue growing from.