Finding the Right Home

When you start your search for a new home there are many things to consider. The mortgage loan you choose is always important but deciding on a home may be the hardest part of all. Many homebuyers start by determining what are "needs" versus what are "wants." Below we have listed a few points you may want to consider when looking to find the right home for you and your family.

Location Location Location
Whether it's across the street, across town or across the country, the first decision in buying your new home is deciding on the location you would like to live. Often this is the first decision you make but be sure to take in consideration all your options. Below is a list of a few factors you may want to explore.

  • Do you want to be in the city or in a suburban area?
  • Do you want to live in a quiet rural area or be close to grocery stores, schools, restaurants, and other activities?
  • How far is the neighborhood from your workplace and/or schools?
  • What will your commute be?
  • Does the area fit your lifestyle?
  • Can you afford the cost of living?
Be proactive! Get a map of the area and drive around to see what may interest you, drive from your potential home to your workplace and most of all, look at surrounding neighborhoods.

Neighborhood Watch
Before you finalize your location to call home, take time to explore the area neighborhoods. Sometimes the locale you wish to move may not have the neighborhoods you find appealing. Try to determine which neighborhoods offer you and your family the most, you may want to take into account such factors as the quality of nearby schools and the proximity to shopping or your workplace. After seeing what different neighborhoods have to offer, compare the pros and cons of each area you are considering to determine the best location for your family.

Open House
Once you have decided on a neighborhood, it's time to look at houses! Many of the basics, such as how many bedrooms, bathrooms, yard size etc., you have already decided. Make a list of your "wants" and "needs" and refer to them often as you look at houses. As you walk through your potential home, you may realize you like something you had never considered before. Perhaps a two story home, 9 foot tall ceilings or a tile floor vs. a vinyl floor. Be prepared to compromise, it is very unlikely that you will find a home that has everything on your list.

A few items to keep in mind as you search are:

  • Does the home allow for growth of the family? Are the rooms big enough?
  • How old is the home? Does it require little work or is it a "fixer-upper?"
  • Does the home have "curb appeal" such as attractive landscaping, lighting and a well maintained exterior.

Needs vs. Wants
If you find a home that meets all your needs but is lacking a few of your wants, you may not want to pass it up. You may just find the perfect home in a neighborhood or location you never thought to consider, even a different floor plan that you originally set out to find. Try not to limit yourself too much and remain open to compromise. You might even find a great home with special features you never thought you could afford – like a pool, a spa or an extra fireplace.