Buying a new home is a big deal. If this is your first time embarking on this adventure, you might be unsure where or how to get started.
Luckily, there are millions of people who have been in your shoes before and can help you figure out just what you’ll need looking for your new home. To show you how this can be done, here are three tips for starting your home search.
Figure Out How Much Home You Can Afford
Before you even begin looking at homes, you should first figure out everything with your financial situation. If you didn’t think you could afford a home, you probably wouldn’t be looking for one, but you still need to figure out exactly how much home you can afford.
According to Rachel Cruze, a contributor to DaveRamsey.com, you should try not to spend more than 25 percent of your monthly income on your housing costs. Keep in mind, however, that this includes more than just your mortgage. You also need to consider additional costs like homeowners insurance, HOA fees, taxes and more.
With all these things combined, you might be able to reasonably afford less than you initially thought, so make sure you have a firm number in mind before looking at any specific homes.
Understand Your Priorities Before You Start Looking
In addition to knowing what you can afford, it’s also wise to really sit down and think about what it is you want out of a home.
Constance Brinkley-Badgett, a contributor to Credit.com, shares that you should create two lists that include your “must haves” and your “nice to haves”. Once you have these two lists nailed down, it will make it much easier for you to sort through all the homes you’ll see until you can find the one that will actually mark all the boxes you’ve been looking for without getting distracted by things that might not actually be that important to you.
Don’t See Too Many Homes In One Day
With the above information in order, it’s now time to start actually looking at potential homes. While you might be excited to see what’s out there for you, Elizabeth Weintraub, a contributor to The Balance, warns against trying to see too many homes in one day.
To avoid getting overloaded with too many details about too many homes, try not to see more than seven homes per day. While you could likely fit more than seven homes into your day logistically, once you start seeing more than seven, things can start to blur together and the details can get lost on you.
If you’re about to start your first home search, consider using the tips mentioned above to help this process begin without a hitch.