The home search can be one of the most exciting and overwhelming stages of the homebuying process, especially for first-time homebuyers. To help you find your dream home, use this checklist chock full of questions to ask yourself, so you’ll know exactly what to look for when buying a house
1) Where do you want to live?
Location is the one thing you can’t change about your home, so choosing an area that fits your aesthetic, lifestyle, and budget is essential.
Let your real estate agent know about your location priorities before starting the search. They may be able to suggest neighborhoods you’ve overlooked or let you know the pros and cons of an area where you’re searching. Also, location is important if you’re considering taking advantage of a first time home-buyer program; there are many programs specifically for people who buy in a particular city or area.
2) What are you looking for in your community?
Even if you find the perfect home, it’s important that you’re in the right community. Of course, everyone’s desired community attributes are different based on their needs. Identify what yours are as you narrow down the location for your home search. Here are some common questions to ask yourself:
- What are the restaurant and entertainment options?
- Is there nightlife?
- Are there parks nearby?
- What school district is it in?
- What is the proximity to the downtown area?
3) How much house can you afford?
One of the biggest mistakes a first-time homebuyer can make is getting attached to a home only to realize they can’t afford it. Get your budget in order before beginning your home search. First, determine your price range. Then, narrow down cities and neighborhoods with homes that fall within your budget. You’ll also want to ensure you’re Pre-approved with a good mortgage lender.