Searching and finding your dream home is a lot like finding the perfect life partner. It may take a while and a bit of disappointment and frustration, but when it happens, you realize that it was all worth it.
I had a hard time trying to navigate how to find my dream home, but I weathered the storm and now have the perfect place to create memories with family and friends as well as unwind.
The best part is that finding a home is easier than finding a life partner. Here are some of the things you need to do as you begin and go about your search.
Determine your Style
Sure, you may like the look of a vintage house or a luxurious glass penthouse, but you would be better off picking a home that works best for you and your family.
For instance, you may want to go for a family home with stronger exterior doors if the neighborhood is not as secure. Or a single-family home if you have pets or kids because it will come with a yard for them to run around in.
Do your Due Diligence
Perhaps you want to live in the country, downtown, or uptown. You need to keep in mind that neighborhoods can be different even if they are in the same area.
When contemplating how to find my dream home, I had to do some research. Going through estate listings can help you get a better insight into the kind of house styles in the area you are considering.
You may also want to do a bit of offline research by visiting the neighborhoods you are considering. Walking and driving around will give you a feel of the area you may call home one day. You also get to find out if there are basic amenities like banks or family restaurants in the area.
Consider Your Finances
I couldn’t begin thinking of how to find my dream home without thinking about my finances. What I’m trying to say here is that it is wise to get pre-approved.
Getting your finances right plays a huge role in making the home-owning process easier. Get your credit card report and credit score to find out where you stand. Doing that will help you tally your funds for a down payment on your dream house as well as the closing costs.
Have a Budget in Place
After being pre-approved and finding out what you qualify for, you may find yourself checking out homes that are outside of your price range. However, doing that could be setting yourself up for failure. You can quickly go from loving your new home to detesting it simply because you took a mortgage that was bigger than what you can afford.
The best course of action would be to have a budget in place and apply the 28/36 rule that states that your housing costs should not be more than 28% of your gross income. Doing this will help you stay in line as far as your finances. I had to learn that when it came to how to find my dream home.
Think About the Future
When thinking about how to find my dream home, I had to think about what would work best for me in the present and the future. The house you pick should ideally be your home for at least the next five to seven years. That will help you build equity as well as pay down the mortgage.
A good home should grow with you. If you plan to have more kids, the house should be able to accommodate that. If you intend to get well drilling services to increase your water supply, it should be worth doing.
Look Past Minor Flaws
You will hardly ever get a home that has all the things you have on your checklist. Most houses will have one or two things that you do not like, but that does not mean that they will not make good homes.
One of the things I had to learn when it came to how to find my dream home is that you have to look past minor flaws. For instance, it wouldn’t make sense to forego a home you would otherwise have loved just because you don’t like the cabinets in the kitchen or the paint in the living room.
This is because those are things you can easily change.
You may be fortunate enough to find a home that you think would be great for you, but it wouldn’t hurt to look at other homes. You also want to consider that a home and a neighborhood may look good during the day but not as good at night. In that regard, you need to open yourself up to looking at more houses and take the time to find out what you are getting yourself into. Since it is a dream home, you don’t want to be thinking about moving out as soon as you move in.
Know your Neighbors
Granted, you may find a home that works for you but for you to love staying there, you have to love the neighborhood and your neighbors too. As I was trying to make out how to find my dream home, I realized it is not just about my house but the surroundings as well.
If you are a reserved person, you do not want loud neighbors or busy streets. Your idea of good neighbors would probably be people who would help you get country club golf memberships. On the other hand, if you are an extrovert who thrives on living life on the fast lane, you may want to find a home in an area that matches your personality.
Do Not Skimp on Inspection
Regardless of how good your potential home looks, you do not want any unpleasant surprises in the future. To reduce the chances of that happening, you would want to have the home inspected by a licensed inspector.
By enlisting their services, you get to find out everything about the home, including the age of the drainage system to the strength of the roof, and whether you will need roofing contractors. This allows you to decide whether you still want a home even after finding out certain things about it.
Things are not always what they seem and sometimes, that can turn out to be good for you or not. You may be in love with a potential home’s vinyl fence, but hate the faucets in the bathroom. That doesn’t mean that you should look for another home.
Do not be too fixated on one or two bad features of a house and overlook all the good things it has going for it. Going through the motions of how to find my dream home, I learned that compromise is key. By being flexible, you are likely to make a great choice and stay in love with it.
How to Buy a Home
Now that you know how to find your dream home. Here are the steps you need to take before putting the last nail in the coffin.
Be Clear About What You Want
You need to know what you want in your dream house and whether not having it is a deal-breaker. For instance, some people cannot do without a water heater, and understandably so, because few people enjoy cold showers.
When you are clear about what you want, it becomes difficult to regret your choice.
How Do You Want to Buy?
In the past, it would have been close to impossible to buy a home on your own, but as the world continues to be technologically advanced, you get to do that easily online. As I was trying to figure out how to find my dream home, I realized that there are several choices when it comes to payment plans.
For instance, you can pay upfront, take a mortgage, or have an arrangement with the property owner to pay in installments while living in the house.
Keep Your Finances in Order
After deciding how you want to pay for your dream home, you want to keep your finances in order. If you need to take out a loan, do that. If you want to save, start doing it a few years or months before finding your home.
You don’t want to get your dream home and not have the financing to secure it. Chances are that someone else will place an offer on the property owner’s table and buy your dream home as you try to gather your finances.
Make an offer
Now that you have your finances in check, it is time to make an offer on the home you intend to buy. Whether you are dealing with a realtor or a property owner, it is advisable to make an offer. This is because houses on sale are usually priced a little bit higher to make room for negotiation.
Even if you can afford the price quoted, make an offer and try to bring the price down. You will be surprised at how much money you can save just by doing that.
Check the House Out
Having your potential home is necessary. This vital step needs to be completed even after entering an agreement with the seller.
It is at this step that you will find out if your new house needs things like swimming pool repair and what other flaws it may have. The seller of the house is supposed to disclose such information but you can never be too sure, seeing that not everybody is as honest as you would want them to be.
You also want to ensure that your purchase agreement comes with an inspection contingency. This is mandatory unless you decide to waive it. The agreement requires the seller to cater for any repair costs that may arise from the inspection. This includes kitchen and bath remodeling.
If you can agree on such, you would be better off canceling the contract.
Get the Home Appraised
This step is particularly important if you take out a mortgage on your dream house. Why? Because banks will seldom fund a loan that is worth more than the home you want to buy. Simply put, the loan is secured by the property value.
To ensure that your home is worth what you are asking to be lent, banks will get the home appraised. In case the appraisal is low and the bank fails to lend the full asking price for the house, you would have to cover the rest of the amount or try to get the seller to reduce the price of the home.
This will be a problem especially if the house you want is in high demand because buyers are likely to bid on it, making its price even higher.
Close the Deal
After doing all that, you are now ready to sign the contract. That means that funds like down payment, buyer’s deposit, and loan funds are deposited in a neutral account.
At the same time, the home’s paperwork will be in progress. At this point, you are a homeowner and ready to move into your new house depending on the agreement you have with the seller.
Finding the perfect house for you and your family is not as easy as it sounds, even with all the homes for sale available. It takes a great deal of research and negotiation to get what you want. As I was searching for how to find my dream home, I also realized that compromise is key.
With this information at your disposal, you are in a better position to pick a home based on the value it is likely to bring. Why don’t you go ahead and do that?