1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before You Start Your Search
One way to show you’re serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage. Even if you’re in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach. This will help you avoid the disappointment of falling in love with a home well outside your price range.
2. Researching neighborhoods and where you want to be
Every neighborhood has unique charm. Before you commit to a home based solely on the house itself, take a test-drive of the area. Make sure it meets your needs for amenities, commute, and school districts.
3. The Difference Between Must haves, And Would like to have!
Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen to be happy with your home choice? Would a garage be a want or a need? Before you start your search, list all the features of a home you would like. Qualify them as must haves, should haves or absolute want items. This will help you stay focused.
4. Pick a House Style You Love and Stick to It
Talk about your family’s needs and settle on a style of home that will best serve those needs. Just because you’ve slimmed your search to a zip code doesn’t mean you need to tour every listing in that area . An example from the article says, “if you have several younger kids and don’t want your bedroom on a different level, steer clear of Cape Cod–style homes, which typically feature two or more bedrooms on the upper level and the master on the main.”
5. Document Your Home Visits
Once you start touring homes, the features of each individual home will start to blend together. It is suggested to keep your camera handy and making notes on the listing sheet to document what you love and don’t love about each property you visit.