Forever Home: 7 Key Things to Do Before Buying a House
Over 5 million existing homes are sold in the United States every calendar year. If you’re in the market for a new home yourself, odds are you’re hoping it’ll be you and your family’s forever home.
A lot goes into making sure that you do indeed find that dream home that you’re looking for. But if you aren’t careful, you can make some crucial mistakes along the way that can lead to a nightmare scenario.
In this article, we’ll give you 7 key things to do before you buy a home. We’ll tell you how to get started looking for a home, as well as what you can expect during the entire process.
That way, when you finally start moving in, you can feel good about the decision that you’ve made.
1. Get Pre-Approved Before You Go Shopping
In the market for a new home? If so, make sure that you get pre-approved for a mortgage before you go shopping online or in-person. That way you can have an exact idea of how much home you can comfortably afford before you start browsing potential options.
We’ll be honest. In 2021, home mortgage loan rates have never been better. So, if you’re looking to make a purchase soon, you couldn’t have picked a better time to do so.
2. Know What You Need in a Home
It’s important to remember that no two families are the same. That means that what you need to have feature-wise in a home differs from somebody else who is also shopping for homes in your price range.
Because of this, it’s important to sit down with your realtor and makes sure your most important “must-haves” are known. Things like the number of bedrooms, or space for a home office, are the kind of must-haves that most people tend to mention.
Doing this will make sure that you don’t look at or tour any homes that don’t have all of your must-have features, which can speed up the process greatly.
3. Know What You Want in a Home
There are some features in a new home that you don’t necessarily need but would like to have anyway. These “really-want” features are also worth writing down, as it’ll give you a better chance of finding a home that checks at least a few of those boxes.
It may sound silly, but we recommend that you write down your must-haves and really-wants on a piece of paper. Rank them in order of most important, too, so you and your realtor can keep them in mind when browsing for potential homes.
4. Think About Your Future Needs
For a lot of people, their list of must-haves and really-wants is going to change over the next 10 years or so. And while it’s impossible to predict the future, you can do some hard thinking and do a decent job of future-proofing your next home.
For example, let’s say that you want to have another kid in 5 years. Those are decisions that you need to think about now so you can make sure to pick a home that is as perfect in a decade for your family as it is right now.
5. Take a Tour Before Making an Offer
Thanks to the internet, you can take virtual tours of potential homes from the comfort of your own couch. You can even video chat with realtors and get a walk-through of a potential home, allowing you to get a better feel of how it would fit your family.
While doing this is helpful, it’s still important to take a tour in-person before making an official offer on a home. That way you can see the home for yourself, as well as the neighborhood, to ensure that it’s exactly what you have in mind.
6. Get a Thorough Home Inspection Done
After making an offer on a home, you’re going to want to get a home inspection done to confirm nothing major is wrong. Even if a home is less than a few years old, it’s still a good idea to go ahead and get a thorough home inspection for it, just to be safe.
Odds are a few things are going to pop up repair-wise during this inspection that needs to be addressed. Lean on your realtor and their expertise here, as sometimes a house isn’t worth buying if too much work is needed.
7. Be Prepared for Bumps Along the Way
To say that buying a home is an overwhelming experience would be a massive understatement. While it’s impossible to remove the stress of buying a home completely, you can reduce it by expecting to experience some bumps along the way beforehand.
Things are going to pop up. There’s a good chance that the entire process won’t go as smoothly as you’d like. But if you listen to your realtor, have some patience, and don’t panic too much, you should be able to find your own forever home without a lot of hassle.
Need More Help Finding Your Forever Home?
Finding a forever home should be an exciting-yet-stressful experience that you never forget. But things can be more stressful than exciting if you don’t know what to expect.
That’s why it’s important to keep these 7 tips in mind, and to do all of them, to ensure that things go well for you and your family when buying a home.
In the market for a new home? Need more helpful real estate advice? Check back with our blog often for tons of information on all things real estate.