26 Jul Foolproof Advice to Find Your Dream Home
You’re thinking about buying your first home. Some of your friends are on or have completed this journey, and you want to join them, but you’re a little hesitant. It’s complicated, right? Explore our insider knowledge and experience in real estate to find your dream home:
To Find Your Dream Home, You Must…
Start with a Lender
Your first step is finding a lender you are comfortable with, so you know what you can afford both for a purchase price and monthly payment, as well as learn how the home loan process works and what special programs you may qualify for. You may not know any lenders, so ask your friends who are homeowners or are currently looking who they used and if they like him or her. Your real estate agent will also have the names of several lenders with good track records. Talk to a few; different companies can handle various types of loans, and each lender has a unique communication style. Find someone you feel comfortable working with.
Find Your Agent
Ask for referrals from satisfied friends, family, or co-workers and ask them why they liked their agent. A good agent does so much more than unlock doors for you. He or she will be your guide and advocate throughout the entire process, so choose wisely. Find someone who is sincerely interested in what you are looking for and will have a plan to help you find it. Ask how they will help you to determine an offer price and help you negotiate both the contract and the inspection process. Don’t be hesitant to ask for references or testimonials.
Think Hard About What You Want
Now that you know your price point, start with the things you can’t change about your future home. Ask yourself:
- Type of Home: Do you want a single family home, or is a condo, villa, or loft best for your lifestyle?
- Do you want to live close to family or friends?
- Do you prefer a city vibe or suburban atmosphere?
- Is the school system important to you?
- How long of a commute do you want, and do you need easy access to public transportation or the airport?
- House Structure
- Do you dream of having a finished lower level? If so, don’t buy a slab home.
- Is an open floor plan a must for you?
- Do you mind climbing stairs?
- If you have children, do you want all the bedrooms on the same floor?
- House Size and Rooms
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms are a must?
- Do you need a dining room for entertaining?
- Do you insist on a large kitchen for cooking?
- Garage and Yard
- Is a garage a must, and if so, for how many cars?
- Do you have pets, making a fenced yard a necessity?
- Do you like to garden or hate the idea of yard work?
- Do you want a pool someday, or need to accommodate a swing set for kids?
- Ready to Get Your Hands Dirty
- Are you a DIYer who doesn’t mind tackling some projects if it means getting a good deal, or do you want move-in ready?
- If you are willing to take on some work, what kind of work are you willing to do? Paint, strip wallpaper, install new flooring?
- Design Decisions: Now that you have the “fixed” features in mind, you can think about the fun stuff – flooring, countertops, fixtures.
Keep An Open Mind
It is not impossible, but highly unlikely, that you will find the home that meets all of your must-haves and design desires, especially on your first trip to look at homes. As you go through your journey, chances are you might need to compromise on one or two things, or you will learn that what you want doesn’t exist, or not at the price point you need or location you prefer. Or you might learn that what you thought was a must-have isn’t as important as something else. If you change your mind on your priorities, make sure to share that with your agent!
Explore the Possibilities with Hermann London
Follow these steps, and it won’t be long before you are turning the key to your new front door! Trust us, we understand that you’re interested in buying a house, but not just any house – you want to find the house of your dreams. As the most trusted resource in St. Louis, our team of real estate agents know the local market better than anyone and have the experience to back it up. Discover what waiting for you on the market today by talking with one of our tech-savvy REALTORS®.
TALK WITH AN AGENT TODAY