In today’s housing market, low inventory dominates many conversations in Prescott, as well as in many areas of the country. With less inventory available, this increases the need for home buyers to be prepared when a house becomes available. If you aren’t prepared for what lies ahead when searching to buy a home, you may miss out on a great opportunity. To help out, we have summarized five tips from realtor.com’s article, “How to Find Your Dream Home—Without Losing Your Mind.”
- Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before You Start Your Search
One way to show you’re serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage. Even if you’re in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach. This will help you avoid the disappointment of falling in love with a home well outside your price range.
- Know the Difference Between Your ‘Must-Haves’ and ‘Would-Like-To-Haves’
Do you really need a walk-in pantry in the kitchen to be happy with your home choice? Would a three-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Before you start your search, list all the features of a home you would like. Qualify them as ‘must-haves’, ‘should-haves’, or ‘absolute-wish list’ items. Taking time to recognize your priorities at this stage of the game will help you stay focused on what’s most important.
- Research and Choose a Neighborhood Where You Want to Live
Every neighborhood has unique charm. Before you commit to a home based solely on the house itself, take a test-drive of the area. Make sure it meets your needs for included amenities, how far is the commute to work or school, look at the school district, check out the neighborhood noise, and survey the traffic.
- Pick a House Style You Love and Stick to It
Evaluate your family’s needs and settle on a style of home that will best serve those needs. Just because you’ve narrowed your search to a zip code doesn’t mean you need to tour every listing in that vicinity. For example, if you need all of your bedrooms on the same level, avoid 2 story-homes that don’t meet that criteria. Maybe you don’t want to spend time working in a yard, therefore, it is best to avoid touring homes with large yards and high maintenance.
- Document Your Home Visits
Once you start touring homes, the features of each individual home will start to blur together. This is where having a journal or notebook to organize your thoughts and comments for each home would be helpful. The realtor.com article suggests keeping your camera handy and making notes on the listing sheet or in your notebook to document what you love and don’t love about each property you visit.
Being prepared is your best advantage. Get your ‘must-haves’ and ‘must-nots’ ironed out, check with the mortgage company, and of course, enlist the help of a realtor to research homes that meet your criteria.
When you are ready to start the search for a home, give the USA Real Estate team a call, they will put their resources to work for you.