For most people, buying a home represents one of the largest purchases they’ll ever make.
Here are the top 5 factors to consider before you start shopping for your next home:
1. HOW MUCH MONEY YOU WANT TO SPEND
Be realistic. Don’t make yourself “house broke” – meaning don’t buy a house that exceeds your monthly expenses and lifestyle.
2. WHAT TYPE OF HOME YOU WOULD LIKE
Common styles include ranch, 2 story, split entry, and multi-level. Do you want to live in a single-family home, or would you prefer a duplex or townhome? Do you want a brand-new home built from the ground up, or do you want a home with history and character?
3. WHERE YOU WANT TO LIVE
Downtown, subdivision, or acreage? Do you want to live in a specific school district or be near your workplace? Do you want to be close to the interstate or just outside the city?
4. WHEN YOU WANT TO MOVE
Do you have 9-12 months to build a new home, or are you on a time crunch because your lease is up in a couple months? Make sure you know your timeline.
5. HOW MUCH YOU QUALIFY TO BORROW AND WHAT TYPE OF FINANCING IS AVAILABLE TO YOU
To help focus on affordable homes and keep your expectations realistic, it pays to get pre-qualified by a lender right away. Also, sellers are more likely to choose an offer that is pre-approved over an offer from someone whose financial picture is still in question.