We’ve bought, sold and built several properties ourselves since 1999. Being in the market to buy a home is no easy task and for many people it can be very overwhelming. So when you’re ready to start shopping for that next place to call home, what should you be considering? Here are five tips to help you in the process:
1. Consider the Location: Schools, Neighborhood, Nearby Amenities
When trying to narrow down your ideal location, factor in your current stomping grounds including kids’ sports, doctors, church and your job. Are you desiring to stay near those areas or are you willing to make a total shift or are you willing to commute? Which neighborhoods are ideal to you or which schools do you want your children to attend? Those factors can be the biggest components to helping you know where to start your search. If you’re willing to make a switch of all the above, then the sky’s the limit!
2. Maximize your budget:
We all have a housing budget, it’s just that our budgets are unique to our current income. When shopping for a home, find your comfort zone with your ideal payment and then shop for a house with that in mind. If you fall in love with a home that is going to be a financial stress in the long run, you’ll be behind from the get go and that frustration is never worth it.
With your budget in mind, look at the homes that offer you the greatest amount of space, layout and room for growth. Consider the value of a basement, over sized or 3-car garage. Look at closets, storage and bedroom sizes. Sometimes the beauty of the home becomes the focus and once you move in, you realize you’ve already outgrown the space. Think about the practicality of the home as much as the cosmetics.
3. Consider the big picture: updates, maintenance, surrounding houses
We also advise our listing clients to brag about what’s been updated and upgraded on their home. How old is the roof, HVAC, and flooring? Have the mechanicals been maintained routinely? Is the home in distress and in need of a total overhaul or is it turn key and move-in ready? These factors are important to a home’s value and if there’s a laundry list of things to do to the home, you’ll get stuck paying the bill in the long run. Finding a home where the seller has just updated the mechanicals, siding, landscaping, roof, or flooring, for example, is highly valuable and allows you to spend your time and money making the fun fixes, the cosmetics, your own!
Additionally, pay attention to the surrounding homes and homes throughout the neighborhood. You do NOT have control over those, so how are they maintaining their yards, trash cans and general curb appeal? No matter how gorgeous you make your home, being surrounded by neighbors that don’t care for your home like you do will bring your value down in the long run. The strength of the HOA is very important to your home’s value and buying into a neighborhood with a strong HOA is a wise investment! Overall, consider the big picture!
4. Think Outside the Box:
We all have a style and way of putting our stamp on a property. I might like a blue dining room, but you prefer a red one. Enter each property with an open mind. See past their decor, wall colors and furnishings. Bring pictures of your style or swatches of your color palette with you as you shop so you can better be able to envision your style in the home. Be willing to take down walls, redo flooring, counters and cabinets over time in exchange for finding a true diamond in the rough. Many homes do not fall within a general appeal, so have an open mind when looking at layout, lot size and cosmetics. Paint, decor, updates and improvements over time can change even the worst of homes!
5. Buy for Now, Consider Later:
The general rule of thumb is never buy a home you cannot sell! While you may be buying a home to live in for the next 10 years, always keep resale in mind, even when making your updates. As you’re weighing properties against each other to make a final decision, imagine yourself trying to sell the home as well and see which one might have the better resale value and general appeal. Buying a home is one of your biggest investments and all emotion and personal preferences aside, you want to put your dollars into the best investment for now and the future!
These are just a few of our buying tips when shopping for the next home. When buying with Realtor Dan Irish, your specific housing criteria is considered and entered into a computerized home search to help present to you as many options as possible.
The market is really heating up and now is a great time to sell and buy. To start that process, or for a complimentary market analysis on your property, contact Dan at 317.910.4293 or firstname.lastname@example.org! Visit our websites, real estate blog, facebook page and community websites by visiting www.dmirish.com!