The hunt for a dream home is full of excitement as buyers tour home after home. Finding that dream home, however, starts with a clear understanding of needs versus necessities. Based on those items, buyers should evaluate how much they can honestly afford to spend to accommodate their desired lifestyle. Based on the budget, buyers can find their ideal home.
Whether it is a traditional home, a condominium, a townhouse or a manufactured home, with the right approach, buyers can locate what they need.
Before Starting a Home Search
The home buying experience becomes much easier once buyers understand the process and approach it with the right strategy. Before beginning the search for a home, potential buyers should consider many factors ensure that they make educated searches and purchase options.
For example, buyers should obtain a real estate agent, as the agent is an invaluable resource in helping buyers through the process. An agent can explain the process from start to finish and offer advice on how to make things smoother.
Only after getting a handle on the process should buyers move on to their house hunt. When looking for a home, buyers should make a list of their requirements for a home. These requirements can help homebuyers narrow down their search to avoid feeling overwhelmed. However, a list of unrealistic expectations can put a damper on the process, as too many requirements can make it difficult to find a home. Too many requirements or unrealistic requirements could cause buyers to miss out on a great home if it does not match up to the list.
Next, shoppers should determine which of those home requirements are necessities and which ones are luxuries. Necessities include things such as square footage, number of bedrooms and floorplan. Buyers should use this list and focus on needs when house shopping. Outside of specific features of the house, location is one of the most significant factors for buyers to consider.
The location of a home can affect the commuting time of the purchaser and his or her family, which can increase personal stress and end up costing a lot of money and time for the person commuting the distance between work, school and/or home. In addition, buyers should focus on neighborhood features when searching for the home.
For example, those with a growing family may want to focus on neighborhoods full of other families or consider the school district in which the home is located when searching for a home. Alternatively, young professionals may prefer a faster-paced urban lifestyle with a home that is closer to entertainment and dining.
Lastly, buyers should make sure their budget can accommodate their desired lifestyle in their new home. By adding the cost of utilities, taxes and insurance on top of existing expenses, buyers get a feel for how a new home impacts their budget.
Certain types of houses or certain locations can have different price points, so it is important that buyers consider all angles when searching for a home. However, buyers who find themselves on a tight budget have other options for home ownership.
Houses, Townhouses and Condos
Condominiums and townhouses are a great path to homeownership for those on a tight budget or for those who do not want the hassle and expense of a single-family home. Townhouses are great for those who want a smaller home and do not mind taking on maintenance responsibilities. In a townhouse, owners are responsible for all maintenance and repairs items, including big-ticket items such as the roof, plumbing or electrical. Townhome owners also pay a monthly fee to a homeowners association (HOA) to help cover the costs of expenses related to common areas, such as trash pickup or snow removal. For those who prefer home ownership without maintenance, a condo fits the bill. Condo owners do pay a monthly fee to a homeowners association. However, this fee covers many more amenities than a townhouse community does. Condo owners typically enjoy amenities such as an onsite fitness facility, barbecue areas or a golf course. Owners of a condominium may make changes to the interior of the residence, although it still can be subject to HOA restrictions or approval. Between standard homes, condos and townhouses, many people can complete their goal of purchasing a home for themselves and their families.
Manufactured and Mobile Homes
When it comes to purchasing a home, many buyers overlook the value in a manufactured home. Typically cheaper per square foot than traditional houses, manufactured homes are an excellent bargain for the money. Manufactured homes differ from traditional homes in that they are built in a factory. As a result, manufactured homes offer faster construction times because they are not subject to weather delays. Further, the federal government holds manufactured home builders to a higher standard, and as a result, their quality tends to be higher than that of a traditional home. Homebuyers looking for the most customization options will find that a manufactured home is the way to go. With traditional homes, buyers must adhere to floor plans outlined by the builder. With a manufactured home, buyers may customize their floor plan and customize all of the features to their liking. Like standard homes, mobile and manufactured homes have their own types of insurance, which can help purchasers protect their investment from damages and certain perils.
Common Home Buying Terms
As homebuyers embark on their journey to find the ideal home, they will likely encounter a great deal of home buying terminology. For example, buyers should understand appraisals and their importance. They should understand terms like earnest money deposit and how it this deposit impacts the cost of purchasing a home. Learning the terminology and jargon of real estate can help buyers remain aware of what is taking place at every step of the process. Although these terms can be overwhelming, buyers who educate themselves on home buying basics can relax more while making formed and educated decisions.
The home buying experience can be an exciting one, especially when approached with the right knowledge and a plan. Buyers who take the time to examine their financial situation, educate themselves and seek help from a real estate agent will see great success on their journey.