Finding the right home can be a challenge. When you’re house shopping you come across a lot of “maybes” but only one “definitely.” Here’s a guide about what to look for in the right home and things to consider before you sign along the dotted line.
Have a Vision
Before finding the perfect home it’s important to define what that means for you. Of course there is always room to be surprised in your search, but by having a vision and specifications of what you’re looking for you are much more likely to actually find your dream home and end up living in it.
Write down a list that has everything you want in a house and your lifestyle needs. Include the style of apartment or house you’re looking for, preferred neighborhoods, square footage estimates and proximity to friends and loved ones. Brew a nice cup of tea and sit back and think of a house you’d love to live in that meets these criteria and search around online. The next time you’re out driving see if anything catches your eye.¹
Get a Real Estate Agent
Having an expert on your side will make your search for the dream home that much easier and quicker. There can be a lot of homes popping on and off the market and inside leads that you could miss as a non-professional.
Your real estate agent will help you enormously with everything from pricing and negotiations to aspects of the house that you may not have considered including its location, upkeep costs and repair history.²
Check It Out
Even once you’ve located a home you really want, it’s vital that you get a home inspection from a professional. Even the best-looking place can have hidden issues that you never thought of like faulty wiring, a broken heating system or structural weaknesses and roof leaks. You want to get an inspection and have peace of mind before you even think about signing along the dotted line.³
As much as your perfect new home may be exactly what you’re looking for, in order to actually unpack and move in you’re going to need the money. Your budget for a home matters, and it will greatly improve your experience moving into a new home if you aren’t stressed out of your mind about how many years it will take to pay off the mortgage or what to do about the price tag. Before you even go house hunting for the perfect home get pre-approved for a loan.
When on your quest keep in mind that sometimes choosing a home that’s a bit smaller and could possibly be renovated can be a better use of your money than buying a fully-finished massive home with a gigantic price.⁴
Perfect Can Be Hiding Behind Imperfection
Sometimes your perfect house isn’t completely perfect in all the ways you’re looking for. There may be a worn out floor or an ugly color of paint you can’t stand in the living room. Maybe there’s even a furniture setup that you feel really doesn’t “fit” in the floor plan and makes the kitchen get less light. Or maybe the home’s trim has a style that just rubs you the wrong way but everything else is great.
The thing is that these kind of issues can be changed by doing some exterior renovation, repainting, re-flooring and shifting around the room layout. There’s no need to let some imperfections be a dealbreaker when searching for the perfect home, because sometimes perfect is hiding behind imperfection.³
Take Notice of the Neighborhood
You may find your perfect home, but if it’s in the middle of a crime-ridden slum or a university student area full of loud parties every night then chances are you’re not going to enjoy living there. Check out the neighborhood and walk around. Talk to a few neighbors and see how it feels. Finding the right neighborhood is a key part of finding the perfect house.²