When most people think of buying a home, they think of the house itself — how many storeys, the color of the siding, the layout of the rooms, etc. But the physical appearance of your house, varied and multifaceted though it may be, is just one aspect of the home-buying experience. Never forget the old real estate adage: “Location, location, location.” Because it applies to buying as well as selling.
In fact, the appearance, design, and even layout of your house can all be changed with varying degrees of ease. But your location is far more difficult to change (if it can be changed at all). With that in mind, it makes more sense, from a house-hunting perspective, to begin with the location, and then find a house that works.
Some people have preferences that are easily aligned, locationally speaking. For instance, buyers looking for beach homes for sale have a very definite locale in mind. Whether the town is located near an ocean or near several large lakes, they can point their real estate agents at the shoreline and wait for the results. Woodland homes may have a slightly wider area of availability than beach homes, but they’re also more spread out, so there are fewer options per square mile.
In-town homes, however, can be neighborhood specific. If you don’t already have a section of town you love picked out (you may be new in town, after all, and not familiar with the area yet), then the number of possibilities can be bewildering, almost daunting.
As much as you may not want to, you should let your finances be your guide. Preapproved mortgages let homebuyers know exactly what they can and can’t afford in the housing market, and when all else fails, that can be a helpful factor when you need to focus your house-hunting search.
One final word of advice, though: after you know your mortgage amount, be sure to look everywhere before crossing areas off your list. Beach homes, woodland homes, suburban homes, urban homes… don’t assume anything’s out of reach until you’ve checked. You might just be surprised by what you can find. Find more on this topic here. More like this.