As first-time homeowners, just the thought of looking for houses is quite exciting. There are so many options, so many factors to consider. But before you even search for houses on Google, there are still some points you’d need to cover to ensure that your experience will be seamless. Here we’ve collected some of the more important aspects for you to consider throughout your house hunting endeavor.
First, Know Your Budget
As with many important financial decisions, you must set a budget before looking into the market for a house. Setting your budget might limit your options, but that’s exactly what you need. It narrows down what you’re looking for and prevents you from incurring unnecessary debt. Your budget should balance both affordability and value, and going to a mortgage lender can make scaling that balance a bit easier. Of course, you can try using the 28% rule to budget how much you can afford for your home.
Second, List What You Want
Of course, there are certain qualities that you’re looking for. However, keeping them vague will only result in frustration. Make sure you have measurable standards when looking for a house, and here are a few to start with.
- Size. One of the more obvious considerations to keep in mind is the size of the home. If you’re a 6-person family, a studio apartment won’t do. That’s why it’s important to have a minimum requirement for space when looking for properties.
- Proximity. What establishments and services do you need to have nearby at all times? Having a family member that needs frequent visits to the doctor requires you to be near a hospital. Or perhaps you have children who need access to school. These are some things to keep in mind, as neglecting how close the property you’re looking for to establishments can cause major expenses down the line.
- Amenities. The property you’ll be purchasing will most likely be connected to a community with built-in amenities. If it’s something of importance for your family, such as a child needing a swimming pool for swim practice or a park for you and your pets to enjoy, finding which properties have amenities can go a long way when it comes to your living experience.
Third, Look Around and Compare
You might feel attached to a property that has something that you absolutely like. It could be a beautiful house that you really appreciate, or it could be a property that’s near your work- despite these highly appealing aspects, remember to look around. Gathering your options and alternatives and weighing them against each other can make your purchase all the more worth it. Make it a point to go to as many open houses as you can, as actually seeing a property can convince you whether something is good or not. If you can’t physically be in a location, a virtual tour can suffice.
Another Option: Get a Real Estate Agent
As with anything, a professional’s advice is always better than none. Real estate agents have adequate know-how and the ins and outs when it comes to property buying, so it would be wise to hire one for yourself. An experienced agent will give you choices based on your wants and needs and help you through the buying process. They will manage most of the paperwork necessary, coordinate with the relevant bodies (and service providers), making your experience all the more convenient and easier. A good real estate agent can mean the world when looking for a property.
Lastly, Prepare Your Move
Once you have found a house and are ready to move, it’s time for preparations. First, you’d want to set a moving-out date so you can have a proper timeline. Secure a local moving company that will help you through your moving process. This is important because not only will it affect your budget, but it also has to be included in your timeline. Figure out whether you can immediately move into your new house or if you’d have to stay in a hotel and wait for the movers to arrive and drop off your stuff.
Other than the big move itself, you also have to write down a checklist to make sure your move is seamless and that you don’t forget anything. You will need to update your driver’s license, transfer utilities, transfer your child to a new school, and tell family or other important people about your move. Once you’re moved in, the first thing you’d want to do is change all the locks and before starting your unpacking process.