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How to Prioritize Your Wish List When You're House Hunting

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If you’re looking to buy a home, it’s easy to get lost in the idea finding your dream home. You want the perfect-size for all your needs –while also having the best lot in the neighborhood, a great location with lots of storage, and of course don’t forget that we want a low price! That can be a tough find.
It’s best to set your top priorities when you’re looking to buy a home. That way you won’t be disappointed and settle for something you think is far from perfect.
Prioritize Your Wants vs Your Needs
Sit down and make a list of everything you want in your dream home. Don’t leave anything out! If you’re buying a home with another person, incorporate them in this process. Once you have your full list, go through each feature and decide that it’s either a “must have” or a “nice to have.”
All your “nice to have” items are now things that are no longer top priorities during your home search. Doing this will help you narrow down your search and if you happen to find a home you love that doesn’t have all your top priorities then it’s not a deal breaker.
To help this process along, think about how the space in your new home will be used: Do you need a home office, a 4th bedroom, or lots of room for storage? It’s important to not focus on things that can be changed. For example, wall colors, kitchen appliances, and outdoor landscaping can always be changed after you move in. Remember, you can’t change the location or the size of the backyard!
Click here for a full checklist of things to consider during your search.
Think About Your Budget
If you don’t know how much house you can afford, now’s the time to figure it out. You need to set your home pricing expectations early on in your house hunting process.  Start by crunching numbers into our mortgage calculator, and then follow up with a Home Loan Specialist licensed in your state to help you verify your ideal number on paper.
You need to feel comfortable with what your real payment will be if you add on mortgage insurance, property taxes, and homeowner’s insurance. Your Home Loan Specialist can also go over any loan fees and calculate the recommended gross monthly income for you. All of this can help with budgeting your cost of living expenses such as utilities, food, and transportation. It’s pretty straightforward once you have someone guide you!
Pre-Qualification or Pre-Approval?
A pre-qualification letter or a standard pre-approval aren't always your best options. Your best bet is to become a Churchill Certified Home Buyer. This program works with all types of home loans and helps set you up for home buying success.
You’ll know your buying power and will also have access to Rate Secured which allows you to save money by helping you get the lowest possible interest rate for your home loan. Your interest rate helps determine your monthly mortgage payment so think of using Rate Secured to safeguard savings on your mortgage.
Important Things to Consider When House Hunting:
  • Price of home
  • Condition of home
  • School district (especially if you have school-aged children)
  • Neighborhood/location
  • Size of home (number of bedrooms and bathrooms, enough storage, etc.)
  • Layout of home (one story, two story, open concept, etc.)
  • Amount of maintenance needed
A lot of time and energy goes into looking for a new home. It’s important for you to narrow down your wants versus your needs and lean on your Realtor® and Home Loan Specialist throughout the home buying process to help it as smooth as possible.
Looking for a Home Loan Specialist to help? 
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