Buying a home can be a scary and confusing process. It is easy to get confused by all of the homes, locations, and what is truly important to you when buying a home.
First you will want to determine what you can afford. To do that you will want to get preapproved. That means a bank; mortgage broker or credit union will determine how much of loan you qualify for based on your income, debt and credit score. They will give a pre-approval letter stating how much you can afford.
Now it is time to pick a real estate professional to help you find the right home, negotiate on your behalf and help you navigate through the process. It is important that you choose an agent that is reputable; you have interviewed to find a good fit and is willing to listen to your needs.
Many buyers often confuse their needs with their wants. Making a list of what you actually need and what you want or your wish list is very helpful when looking for a home. Buying a home is typically a process of elimination. Many home buyers often dismiss homes that perfectly fit their needs in search for one that has their wants. This doesn't mean you can't have your wish list, but home buying is more often defined by your budget than wish lists.
To help with this process it is typically helpful to make a list of needs and wants.
|Examples of NEEDS||Examples of WANTS|
|Reasonable square footage for comfortable living||Paint, carpet, counter tops, accessories.|
|Bedrooms to accommodate your family||Pool or Jacuzzi (unless for medical reasons)|
|Adequate number of bathrooms||Wood floors|
|Eat-in kitchen||Bay windows, skylights|
|Garage or basement for storage needs||Entertainment centers, moldings, decks and patios|
|Lot size to accommodate children's play area||Upgraded lighting fixtures|
|Adaptation for Handicapped||View|
|Proximity to a specific school|
|Single floor living for health reasons|
Each individual will have a different list of needs and wants. Your own list will help you evaluate homes as you go through the process. Sharing this list with your real estate professional will also help narrow down your search. The goal is to find a house that includes all of your needs and meets as many of your wants as is practical in your budget.