7 Steps to Finding Your Perfect Home

Searching for and buying a new home can be an extremely overwhelming experience. So we’ve outlined a step-by-step checklist to get you started on your way to finding the perfect home for you.

1. Find an agent you can trust. Your real estate agent is the pro. The agent finds people homes for a living, and has gone through this process many times before. Although you may do your own research, the agent’s job is to know the market, know the process, and know how to find you your best deal. You also should always have the sense that the agent knows what you want. It will save you a lot of stress if you find someone who you trust will take care of you and whose advice you respect.

2. Set a reasonable budget. Taking on a mortgage is a big responsibility. The mortgage

14500
14500

will likely be one of the biggest monthly checks you write. Outline your monthly expenditures to figure out how much money you have that you can apply to a mortgage. Be sure to consider any association fees, if applicable, taxes, insurance, and if you don’t already own a home, approximate utilities in your area. Then use a mortgage calculator to approximate the monthly cost of a mortgage based on current interest rates.

3. Create a list of must-have features. Once you know about how much you can spend, do a quick online search of homes for sale in your area to see what features are reasonable to include as “must-haves”. You probably have spent some time picturing your ideal home, and you may have a few sticking points that you’re positive you want. Perhaps you love to cook and need a lot of counterspace. Or you have pets, so carpet or flooring that is pet-friendly is a must. Remember to plan 5, 10, and 30 years out if you think you may be in the home that long. You may have not have children now, but perhaps are thinking of starting a family in the future. All of these things are important to consider when doing your search, and very important for you to communicate to your agent in advance to make the search process as simple as possible.

4. Set up a searching timeline that is a month or less. Don’t make the mistake of being too hesitant when searching for a new home. This market has homes at ideal prices, so you really don’t want your search to go on for months and risk missing out on this buyer’s market. And if you’ve done a good job communicating with your agent exactly what you are looking for in a home, you should only be looking at homes that fit your budget and match what you want. Keeping the process as brief as possible will help you to remember the homes you like, what you like about them, and will keep you confident you have made the right decision.

5. Don’t bring too many people along on the search. Ideally you’ll visit the homes with your spouse or anyone purchasing the home with you, and leave others behind, especially on the initial visits. Too many opinions can add chaos to an already overwhelming decision. And other’s opinions don’t matter anyway, as they won’t be living in the home.

6. Take notes and pictures. Especially if you are visiting multiple homes in one day, keep a list of what you liked or didn’t like about each home. Write down the home’s 3 best and worst features, as well as something to remember each home by (for example, 1000 Pleasant Way is the home with the large back deck). This will help you keep track and remember which homes make the final cut. Don’t bother writing likes or dislikes about the homes you are certain are out. Just cross them off the list and move on.

7. Revisit your top two or three. Once you’ve finished your initial visits, give yourself a few days to rest, step back, and not think about what you’ve seen. Then revisit your top 2 or 3 homes before making an offer, seeing the homes with a fresh set of eyes may help you catch things you missed (good or bad) and will give you confidence that you’ve made the right decision when it comes time to make an offer.

Best of luck to you in your new home search! If clubhouse living meets your lifestyle, be sure to check out a Crown home.

Do any experienced homebuyers have other tips to add?


The Value in New Homes

market-value-home1According to a recent news article, value is now the top item on homebuyers agendas, filling a slot that once belonged to location. While location is still high up on the list of considerations, the article points out that value and affordable pricing is top of mind.

This new “smart shopping” means that buyers are considering the pocketbook more closely instead of just opting to buy the biggest house on the block. Energy efficiency and utility bills are some of the things affecting these considerations.  As Deborah Beaver, vice president of the Chicago Division of William Ryan Homes points out, it’s all about square foot.

She also notes that it’s about useful square feet. Great rooms and open foyers are being overlooked in favor of larger family rooms, finished basements and extra bedrooms. Flexible and usable space is important to today’s buyers. Builders, too, have been affected by the economic overhaul and have found the need to rethink space and increase efficiency.

In addition to price, finding a good neighborhood is also a priority for homebuyers. Communities such as Seven Oaks offer proximity to attractions and shopping malls. Residents also enjoy added value from the community amenities, including swimming pools, walking and biking trails and sports courts. These are all included as part of living in the community and provide convenience for those not looking to travel far for a workout or fun.

Another new trend is the competition homebuilders are now facing from resales. New homes challenged by low-priced existing homes are being competitively priced. Studies show that buyers interested in new construction homes are also looking at resales, short sales and foreclosures, whereas these same buyers in the past remained focused on new homes alone.

One of the biggest advantages that new homes offer over resales is the greater value found. New homes don’t require immediate changes or maintenance and tax assessments on a new home tend to be lower in the first year as the home is only taxed for what the buyer paid. New homeowners may also enjoy lower homeowners insurance prices as the home is often covered by warranties.

People see great value in being able to move into a home that is their own – unique to their tastes – and not have to “settle” for a pre-existing construction. Being able to enjoy the newness is also a benefit over having to immediately invest money into updates and repairs.

For more information on how you can become a part of the Seven Oaks community in the home of your dreams, make an appointment to visit.