Owning a home is the American dream. Everyone has sensationalized visions of a Realtor tossing him or her keys (in a tacky, dramatic fashion) to their very own place; or bidding a satisfying farewell to their landlord.
Daydreams of becoming a homeowner are easy, but there are several boxes that must be marked off before taking the rewarding leap into property ownership.
Below is a basic list of reminders one should consider en route to purchasing a home. If you’re in the market, print this blog post out, grab the nearest red marker, and check off this list to see where you stand in the preparation process.
Home Buying Checklist:
- Channel your inner accountant. A home costs money – gobs and gobs of it. Take a night to open up the dreaded Microsoft excel, and map out your total monthly expenses, then measure that number against your net income, to see what you can afford from a mortgage standpoint.
- Where are your priorities? What do you want in a house? Are you single, and smitten with a two-bed room, two-bathroom house or condo? Or are you a mother or father of two toddlers in their terrible twos – which begs for a stadium-sized backyard. Whatever the case may be, build out a list of all of the great amenities you can think of, then prioritize them from 1-5, to decipher your needs.
- What’s out there? Befriend the Internet like never before. Search the World Wide Web to see what homes are on the market, how much they cost, and the features that accompany them. Or if you have endless amounts of time on your hands, take a leisurely walk or car ride around your neighborhoods-of-choice, in search of open houses.
- Whip out that binder from middle school, or create a folder on your computer desktop dedicated to your property search. Its important to keep organized through the preparation process. File away your favorite listings, Realtor info, notes from recent showings, etc., so you have them on-hand when you need to reference them.
- Judgment day has come. Open up that 5th grade binder, or desktop folder, and take a day or two to sift through your findings. When you ultimately surface, you should come up with the home that best fits your needs, for the price you can afford.