Are you ready to buy a home but you are just not sure how to get started? Don't worry, here are five things you can do to make your home buying adventure a success!
1) Get pre-approved
Talk with a mortgage lender and start the pre-approval process right away. This is a critical step because the pre-approval will provide you with a dollar amount that the lender is willing to loan you based on a review of your credit. This not only helps narrow your home search but it also gives sellers confidence that you are serious about buying a home. In fact, most real estate agents will not even submit an offer on a home unless the buyer has been pre-approved.
2) Determine your "must haves"
Make a list of features that your ideal home would have. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Do you need a two car garage or will a car port suffice? What about other not so obvious features that may be a deal breaker for you. For instance, does your master bedroom need to be on the same floor as your guest bedrooms? Do you need 10' ceilings or will 8' ceilings work? Does your master bath need a tub or is a shower okay?
Once you have your list, decide which of these items are an absolute "must have" and which are "nice to have." Focus on finding a home that meets your most critical "must have" items. Many of the "nice to have" features are things you will likely be able to add to your home once you have moved in. However, as you will see below, compromise is a reality of home buying.
3) Choose a specific City or neighborhood
If not already part of the list you made in #3 above, knowing which city or neighborhood you want to live in will make your home search much easier. There are literally hundreds of homes for sale from Melbourne Beach to Satellite Beach so consider narrowing your search to just one of these cities or even a neighborhood within that city.
4) Hire a real estate professional
Hiring a real estate professional will make life easier because a good real estate agent should take on all the heavy lifting when it comes to a home search. Searching for homes on your own can be fun....for a little while. Then it becomes a chore. An agent that understands you and your needs will vet all the homes in the area and show you only those that meet your specific criteria. In addition, an experienced agent will guide you throughout the transaction and ensure you have a successful closing on your new home.
Whether it is your first home or your fifth home, having an experienced team of professionals looking out for your best interests is always better than going for it alone.
5) Expect to compromise
Buying a home will require some compromise. The perfect home in the perfect location in the perfect budget is usually not possible to find. The most important factor is that the house is in a good location and meets your most critical needs. Outside of that, a little paint, new flooring and good decorating can completely transform the look of a house.
Brent Burns is a REALTOR® with the Carpenter | Kessel Team at Dale Sorensen Real Estate Inc. Brent serves clients in Indialantic, Melbourne Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, Satellite Beach and surrounding communities.