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Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Article written by Tara Jacobsen

Finding Your Dream Home

Finding a new home can be a wonderful experience! You can get the second home you have been dreaming of for years OR get your kids each their own room OR buy your first home and (finally) move out of that apartment. You can anticipate the new memories that you will make when you have more or less space, a bigger garage, a water view or even a huge backyard so your doggies can roam free!

But between where you are now and where you want to be is one giant hassle – house hunting. With a favorable interest rate, a huge inventory and a helpful real estate industry it would seem that home buying should be simple – but it is not! There is a lot of frog kissing until you find THE ONE, the house that is perfect for you.

While there is no magic that can make this process simple, there are some easy things that you can do to make your search shorter and sweeter.

First: Sit down and make a list of “gotta haves”. These are the things that you must have in order to have the perfect home for you. Some of these may include the number of bedrooms, whether it needs to have a master suite, how big a lot you would like, how many cars the garage can accommodate, whether it is in a flood zone or not, should it be a fixer-upper or a move in ready? Once you have your list finished, pare it down to the top 5 things that you would like the most, knowing that if you can get 4 of the 5 you are doing great. Even with the number of homes on the market today, unless you are building, you will probably have to compromise on something.

Second: Find out how much you can spend. Many people make the mistake of using an online calculator to find out how much house they can afford. Those are a nifty tool to get a range BUT some do not factor in the cost of taxes or insurance which can increase the payments greatly. Another consideration - just because you are approved for a certain amount does not mean you want to spend that much. You do not want to become one your “house-poor” friends!

Third: Pick some locations. If you have your heart set on living in a certain city your search will be shorter, but most people have a number of cities/neighborhoods that they will consider. There many different ways to find out what home prices are like where you want to live. You can drive the area and pick up flyers that will give you an idea of what home prices are like, search the internet for homes in your price range, or if you choose to get professional help, utilize tools like a Flash report to tell you when a new home in your price range comes on the market.

Now that you know what you want, how much you can afford and where you would like to live, you are ready to start looking at homes. Focus on your top 5 list, stick to your price range and you will be moving into your dream house in no time!
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