Buying a home is an exciting adventure, but there are several things you should think about before starting your home search. Keeping these things in mind will prepare you for what’s to come.
In this video, you’ll get a few tips and some advice from homebuyers that have already purchased a home about things they wish they had known from the beginning:
— Remember to focus on the end result: The process can be long and difficult. If you get discouraged during the process, remember why you are doing this: Is this a place to build a family? Retire in comfort? Is it important for you to be your own landlord?
— Searching takes time: Prepare for a lengthy, involved process, and understand that being flexible with moving and living arrangements will be a benefit in case of unexpected delays.
— Searching takes compromise: Make a list of things that are important for you and what you are willing or not willing to compromise on. Some questions you can ask yourself:
• What type of home best suits my needs?
• What specific features does my ideal home have?
— Searching takes research: Research what is happening in the area. Find out what is planned for the community in the next couple of years that could impact where you live or property value. Chris, a real estate agent in this video, explains: “I like to dig into the local business paper, find out if there’s any major projects that could adversely affect the value of the real estate there. For example, if it’s a predominantly a residential neighborhood, and somebody’s going to put up a distribution center close by, there’s going to be lots of traffic, trucks and so forth.”
Now that you know a little bit more of what to expect from the home buying process, here are a few questions you can ask yourself before you start searching for a home:
Can I really afford to be a homeowner?
• There are a lot of costs beyond the down payment and mortgage. It’s important to factor in these costs and see if it’s something you can comfortably afford.
Am I ready to settle in one place for an extended period and am I committed to homeownership?
• Factor in your career goals and whether you’ll have the time for regular maintenance and repairs of your home.
Is there a place that fits my lifestyle now, which I can also grow into?
• A community may fit your needs now, but think about the next 5-10 years, too.
SARAH: One surprise for us was it took us longer to find the house than we expected and we ended up needing a temporary living arrangement before we found the right place. So we lived with Ryan’s mom for a short period of time.
RYAN: My adulthood dream.
SARAH: Which was definitely a surprise and not unpleasant but unexpected, which just meant more logistics. Moving twice, thinking through just sort of all the—figuring out where we were going to live and when we were going to move and stuff like that.
JASON: When you’re looking at houses, I think as a couple, compromise is key. We, in the beginning, never thought we’d agree on something or what we both wanted was, I wouldn’t say very far apart, but definitely different things we both wanted.
JASON: I compromised on some things, she compromised on some things and that’s very important, that you just can’t say, “This is what I want. This is the town I want. This is the house I want.” because you will be looking for an endless amount of time so compromise is definitely important.
CHRIS: I like to dig into the local business paper, find out if there’s any major projects that could adversely affect the value of the real estate there. For example, if it’s a predominantly a residential neighborhood, and somebody’s going to put up a distribution center close by, there’s going to be lots of traffic, trucks and so forth.