If you’ve ever shopped for a home, you know just how exciting…yet frightening, it can be. From hidden problems, to bad neighbors, the fear over picking the “right” home can seem overwhelming.
How do you know what is the best location? If you love two homes fairly equally, how do you decide on the one that’s right for you?
First things first
Begin by grabbing your calculator. Those exotic wood floors won’t make up for the struggle to pay your mortgage – and other expenses – every month.
In other words, make sure that you can easily afford the home. Use the “worst case” scenario when coming up with this figure because “life” happens.
For example, if you are a two-income household, can one of you pay all of the bills should the other person be unable to work?
Give yourself plenty of financial wiggle room when choosing the house that’s right for you and you’ll enjoy it even more!
Don’t forget to consider the other bills that will come with the home. For example, vaulted ceilings will drive up the cost of heating compared to standard ceilings.
Go with your gut
This is something that only you can do. How did the home make you feel the instant you walked into it?
Don’t let any other factors (aside from financial and familial) dissuade you; if your gut tells you to walk away even though you see nothing wrong with the house, then follow your instincts and look for another house.
Let your lifestyle be your guide
A great view is fantastic, but if you’re always away from home, is it really worth the added expense to buy a home with dramatic mountain views?
Instead, look for features that will make you happy. For example, if you love cooking and plan to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, look for features (or possible additions) that will give you the best experience.
Accept some imperfections
If you expect a perfect home, you’re probably going to be disappointed.
Each individual has a different definition of “perfect”, so keep this in mind when house shopping.
Instead of worrying about what’s “wrong” (we’re talking minor imperfections here) focus on what is “right” about the house.
You can always change things up and put your own touches to make the house your new home.
Which leads to…
Pay attention to floor plan, not the decor
While it is possible to remove and/or build new interior walls, it’s simpler and smarter to work with what you’ve got.
That’s why you should choose a floorplan that has the kitchen, bathroom and living area layout and room sizes that you want.
You can always swap out fixtures and fittings, but it’s another animal to try to change your home’s floor plan.
Sleep on it…or not
Finally, once you’ve decided on a home, the choice to make an offer right away or to sleep on it will say a lot about how you really feel about the home.
If you can’t bear the thought of some other person buying “your” new home, then you’ve probably found the house that’s right for you, which means you’ll put in an offer immediately.
However, keep in mind that even if you do love the home, have the home thoroughly inspected first so you’ll know what to expect…even if you do decide to go ahead and buy it.