Finally made the decision to go from renter to first-time home buyer? How exciting! The days of worrying about your upstairs neighbors or not having enough closet space will soon be behind you.
If you haven’t started thinking of what exactly you want in a house, we’ve put together a list of starters that will get you on the way to your dream home. Check it out below.
The first thing you should add to your homeownership checklist should be getting prequalified.* Getting prequalified gives you an idea of how much home you can actually afford. Only looking at homes within your price range will ultimately save you time during your search. Not only will you save time, but sellers are also more likely to prefer your offer over a buyer who isn’t prequalified. When you’re prequalified, after you find the right home, you’ll be able to confidently make a same-day offer.
Location, location, location. When shopping for a new home, commuting to and from work and other areas can play a big part in the selection process. Location also plays a factor in determining how much your home will potentially cost. If the home is in a popular metropolitan area, it’s most likely that you’ll get a smaller home for a higher price, unlike homes just outside of city limits that can offer more for a lower price. Be sure to make your decision based on what works best with your budget and needs.
Size and Floor Plan
When you’ve decided on a few areas you’d like to live in, it’s time to decide how much of a home you really need! If you’re planning to start a family, a home with a few extra rooms is a good place to start. If you’ll need extra closet space, prefer an open floorplan or want a large yard, taking time to search for your “qualifications” before you visit homes will ensure the right fit.
Bedrooms and Bathrooms
After selecting the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you’re looking for, you’re ready to take a look at some homes. During the viewing process, it’s vital to keep an eye on freshly painted walls and under rugs for any underlying issues like mold or stains. Note any strange coloring or water damage in bathrooms.
Don’t be afraid to “look under the hood.” When you’re checking out a potential home, be sure to check out all aspects of it. Pay attention to the sink faucets and plumbing underneath. There could be mold or water damage out of plain sight, that’s why you should always take note of any potential issues. Even small black or gray spots could indicate serious issues beneath the surface. Survey the kitchen for outlets and drawer space. Does the kitchen have enough light? Will the cabinets or counter tops need upgrading? Asking yourself questions about the future of a home should be a part of your decision process.
Windows and Lighting
When viewing a home, be sure to check the windows for drafts or damage that could potentially cost you in the long run. Will they need replacing? Does the home offer enough natural light? Not only should you pay attention to natural light, which plays a factor in heating and cooling, but you should also take note of artificial lighting around the home is vital. Switch the lights on and off in every room to determine their effectiveness.
If you’re ready to get started, connect with a PrimeLending loan expert today. We’ll be with you every step of the way so you can reach your dream home.
*A prequalification is not an approval of credit and does not signify that underwriting requirements have been met.