Finding a great home can be tricky, but with the right tools and information, it doesn't have to be. Before you start shopping for the perfect home in an area you are considering for your new home, you will need to do a little research. You must assess the area in which you are considering living and learn about any issues that may be present. Understanding any current or potential community issues can help you weigh what is best for your family before choosing a house. This Home Buyer Guide is designed to help you navigate the many steps in finding, buying, and owning your next home.
Do your research. Visit the community in which you are interested to get a feel for it. Or ask your agent to virtually visit the community with you. Drive through neighborhoods and take notice of what is in the area: stores, parks, recreation centers, etc. Research schools in the area if they are important to you.
If possible talk to people who live and work in the community. They will be able to tell you what it is like living there now, any issues they have encountered and how they were resolved. Do your research on crime rates, schools, rec centers, medical facilities, amenities, and any other factors that may make a difference in your decision.
With so many options it's helpful to narrow down the type of community that best suits you. Is it a beach or boating community? A golf course community? A downtown location or something outside of town with some land? Keep in mind both lifestyle choices as well as price points of each community which could differ widely.
Take time to explore. Who knows? You may decide that the perfect house is right in your neighborhood, or it may be miles away from everything you know.
List the places you have considered and details about each one (location, cost per square foot, living space etc.). This will make it easier to evaluate your options.
Set a budget based on the research you have done. You can use our mortgage calculator for this or create your spreadsheet with the estimated costs of owning a home. This will help you see if any places fail to meet the criteria that are most important to you and allow you to adjust your budget accordingly.
Work with an agent to preview the places you are considering. This will give you an idea of what is possible for your price range and living needs.
If you find the right home, make an offer and negotiate with the seller on any issues or concerns you may have. Your agent can help guide you through this process.
No matter where you are on your journey, know that we are here to guide you every step of the way. From researching properties to negotiating offers, through home inspections, and financing. All the way to the closing table and beyond!