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Home Ownership

5 Things Every Home Buyer Should Look for in Their Dream Home

Owning a home is one of the greatest investments you can make. If you’re looking to take the plunge into home ownership, you’re likely going to have a list of things you want and need in your dream home. Feel free to make a sizable wish list for your dream home but prepare to make a few compromises if need be. There are a few key things every home buyer should look for while house shopping. Set yourself for success by doing your research and preparing a list of needs/wants based on your ideal lifestyle.

Don’t underestimate repair and maintenance costs in your dream home

One mistake many homeowners make is assuming when they move in, they can make repairs and upgrades for cheap. There are some things that can be easy and inexpensive to fix when you move into your house such as paint, cabinets and even some light fixtures. On the other hand, if the layout of the house isn’t what you’re looking for and you want to knock down some walls or do major renovations, keep in mind this can be extremely costly.

If you fall in love with a house as is and the seller accepts your offer, it’s important that you make sure to review the home inspection carefully. Some potential problems that your inspector points out to keep an eye on can cost a lot later on. An easy fix might be if there’s a missing wooden railing on the stairs to the basement but if the roof looks to be old that could cost thousands. Some of the most expensive home repairs are foundation damage, roof replacements, and air conditioning replacements. These issues may not be apparent on an initial walk-through of the home which is why home inspections are incredibly important.

Think about space

Buying a home is a long-term investment and it’s important you think about how you can grow into the space. Are there enough bedrooms, bathrooms and closets? Is the dining room large enough to fit your family? These are all things to consider because you want to ensure you grow into your space. It’s much easier (and cheaper) to upgrade a bathtub than it is to add an addition on a home.

Picture yourself using the space while you’re doing your walk through and think about your future plans. If the rooms feel crowded due to the furniture layout, don’t forget when you move in, they will be empty. On move-in day you’ll be given a clean slate and can strategically think through how you want the room to flow so it fits your lifestyle.

Separate your wants from your needs

It would be amazing if every house had a pool, a fireplace, a 3-car garage and an updated kitchen but unfortunately that’s not realistic. It’s unlikely that the house you end up buying will check every box on your list so it’s vital you know what really matters to you. A great way to start your house shopping journey is to organize your list of wants and needs based on what is most important to you.

Would you rather have a bigger kitchen or backyard? If you had to choose between a garage and a view, which would you choose? First, think about your needs. Next think about your dream wants. Lastly, if the house ticks all those boxes or you have a crazy budget, you can consider the small details.

Location is important

Unless you’re buying property in the middle of nowhere, you’re likely going to buy a house in a community. It’s important to consider your lifestyle and think long-term about where you want to live. Map out how far you are from work, take a look at the school district and think about how you like to function in your everyday life.

If you’re a fan of being able to walk to coffee shops and bars, a more urban or urban accessible property may be for you. If you’re looking for seclusion, look in neighborhoods with big yards and away from major highways and roads. While you can fix parts of your home, you can’t physically move it. That’s why it’s key to think about the neighborhood and its surrounding area during the home buying process.

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Stick to your budget

Budgets can be hard to stick to when buying a home, especially when you have a long list of wants. While it’s not the most fun factor to think about, it’s important to consider what you can realistically afford. This is why picking your top wants for your realtor to work with can help you find the best home. Don’t forget that your monthly payment will include more than just your mortgage. Taxes, utilities, insurance and HOA’s all add up. Knowing your buying power and the general costs in your target area can help you stick to budget.

Buying a house can be an overwhelming experience but can lead you to your dream home. Keeping these top factors in mind while house shopping can help you make a confident decision. The first step to the home buying journey is to get a pre-approval. Your lender can help you determine your buying power so you can enjoy the fun part of house shopping with confidence. At Military Home Spot Lending, we specialize in helping military families to buy their dream homes. Our team of experts are here to help you every step of the way from pre-approval to closing. Apply now and see what your military service has earned you.