5 Tips for Finding Your Dream Home



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House hunting can be fun, stress, and disappointed all wrapped together in one big ball of emotions. It's definitely not all the glitz and glam that you see on HGTV. I mean really who can say they have a $200,000 budget on a house and then suddenly spent over a half million and still need renovations. That is definitely not something I could ever do.

If you're like me though, you're always watching house hunting shows, and looking for a house in cities that are far out of my budget. Dreaming about that gorgeous mountain house on a lake in Colorado. 

I previously worked in a real estate off and learned the ins and outs of finding your dream home and thought I would share the five best tips I learned. 

5 Tips for Finding Your Dream Home

1. Know what you want
If you don't know what you want, then how can you find a house that is right for you? The simple answer to that is you can't. You need to know the type of home that will fit your personality. Do you want a home in the city or the country, new construction or an existing home? Do you want a ranch or a multistory home? Are you handy and can handle a fixer-upper or will you need to hire contractors? Do you have the extra wiggle room to hire those contractors? All of these are just samples of questions that you need to ask yourself before you even begin the house-hunting process. 

2. Do your research
When I worked at the real estate office, for some reason this was the step people skipped. Doing your research first is critical. Are you taking in the time it will take for your commute to work, schools, crime, prices of other homes in the area? 
 
3. Make sure your finances are in order
In most cases, lenders will tell you that you can afford a home priced two to three times your gross income. Be sure to create a budget, therefore you'll know what you're comfortable with. Consider the amount of money you will be paying in gas to get to and from work. You never want to wait until you have made an offer to get your finances in order. In fact, that is probably the worst thing that you can do.

4. Long term
Prior to making a home decision, you need to think long term. Your future plans may dictate the type of home you'll end up buying. For instance, are you looking for a starter home with plans to move in a few years or do you want one that you can stay in for more than ten years? If you're just looking for a starter, maybe you want to adjust your expectations, since the home is a temporary situation. If you plan to stay awhile make sure this house hits things on your priority list so you will love it as much as you do now 10 years from now. Also, do you want a house or a condo? Will you want to handle all the yard maintenance or hire someone to do it. Ultimately there is a lot of questions you need to ask yourself in order to find the right home for you.

 5. Work with a realtor
Don't just randomly find a realtor online. Do your research, ask people you trust for referrals. Someone recently suggested David Ebrahimzadeh. Read reviews online, interview agents to determine if they have the expertise you're looking for. Make sure that they will work with your hours. I know one agent who would only show houses until 3pm because he didn't want to get stuck in traffic, well that doesn't work for anyone with a 9-5 job, now does it. You want your personality to mesh with the realtor and know that they are looking out for you and your wellbeing. 
 

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