9 Ways to Make House Hunting a Success
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House hunting is one of the most exciting parts of buying a home. Being able to tour different homes and explore new areas can be so inspiring. House hunting can also be stressful. The current market is competitive, so you may have to put in more effort to find a home that makes sense for you, your family, and your budget. Follow along as we discuss ways to keep your house hunting experience as stress free and enjoyable as possible:
1. Know Your Finances
Before you even begin to house hunt, it’s important to know where you are financially. This means sitting down and taking stock of how much money you have coming in, what is going out each month, and what you feel comfortable spending on a home. (If you have a partner, make sure you sit down together to discuss this.) By knowing exactly where your money is going each month, you can see where you may want to cut back as you search for your new home. The more you save each month, the more you’ll be able to put toward your down payment, or perhaps pay down some extra debt before purchasing your home.
2. Speak to a Churchill Home Loan Specialist
Now, you may think speaking to a Home Loan Specialist would come first so you know how much you’re approved for but going over your finances before meeting with a Home Loan Specialist is deliberate. Above, we mentioned figuring out what you’re comfortable spending on a home. This is where that comes into play.
Your Home Loan Specialist will be your guide through every part of the home-buying process. You will be kept up to date on anything regarding your credit and mortgage, but it’s up to you to make sure you share your goals. Just because you get approved for $500,000 doesn’t mean you need to spend that. By knowing ahead of time what you are comfortable spending, you can help your Home Loan Specialist find the right financing for you. Your Home Loan Specialist can also show you areas where you can improve your financing with educational tools and resources.
3. Become a Churchill Certified Buyer
It’s no secret that the inventory of homes available to purchase is low, making the real estate market very competitive. Becoming a Churchill Certified Buyer will let you look for your new home with more peace of mind. This is better than both a pre-qualification and a pre-approval and will set you up to have negotiating power when it comes time to buy.
4. Become Rate Secured
Anyone house hunting wants the lowest interest rate possible. Our Rate Secured program protects you from the ever-fluctuating interest rates of today. The Rate Secured program allows you to cap your interest rate for 90 days at no cost to you, and you can even reset that interest rate when the 90 days is up if you haven’t found your home yet!
5. Find a Realtor You Trust
Besides having a Home Loan Specialist you can trust, it’s important that you have a Realtor you trust as well. A good Realtor will be able to take your budget and your list of wants and needs for a new home into account and help you find the best options available to you. They will take you to tour the homes and help you understand the inspection process. Your Realtor will also negotiate with the sellers on your behalf and keep you up to date on any changes that occur before your closing date.
6. Know What You’re Looking for
Once you have your financing settled and are working with a Realtor, you’ll start touring homes. Deciding on your priorities ahead of time will help you narrow down your search. For example, if it’s important to you to have a large yard for your dogs, you probably won’t be interested in a townhome or condo, even if it’s within your price range. This will also help you decide what you’re willing to sacrifice to get what’s most important to you. Is adding 20 minutes to your commute worth that beautiful kitchen and sunroom? Other things you’ll want to feel confident about:
- How many bedrooms are there?
- Does the home have a basement? Is it finished?
- Is there a garage? Is it attached to the home?
- What is the square footage of the house?
- Does the yard require a lot of maintenance?
- How many bathrooms are there?
- Does each room have adequate natural lighting?
- How much storage space does the home have?
7. Remain Open Minded
It’s important to keep an open mind when house hunting. Not only will this expand the options available to you, but you never know what hidden gem you may stumble upon while looking! You may find a home you love that doesn’t meet all your requirements but has most of what you’re looking for and allows you to make upgrades and improvements that will add to the value of the home!
8. Do Your Research
It’s always a good idea to research the neighborhood around the home. Talk to neighbors and see what they like about living there. Do they have a Homeowners Association? If you have children or plan to, it’s important to learn about the school district and family-friendly opportunities in the area. You also want to ensure that the roof, foundation, and HVAC unit are without problems. An inspection will help with all of this and is highly encouraged before purchasing a home. Here’s an article on 5 Red Flags to look out for to help you know what to avoid when house hunting.
9. Have Fun!
Buying a home is something to celebrate. Even in today’s competitive market, it’s important to step back and be proud of this step you’re taking! Make time to think about how you will decorate your home and daydream about your future dinner parties with friends. Remember how hard you’ve worked to buy this home and appreciate the wealth you’ll be building by investing in your home.
Here at Churchill, we never want you to be overwhelmed while looking for your new home. That’s why our team of Home Loan Specialists is dedicated to making sure you feel educated and empowered every step of the way. If you’re ready to buy a home, we’re ready to help.