You’ve done it! If you’re finally in the position to start looking for your first home or to buy a new home, this is a big step in your life! Buying a house or buying a new house is a very exciting process, and a great day to level up your lifestyle and hone in on what you’re looking for in a living space. After all, buying a house is a huge commitment, and you want to find a place that not only works for you and your day-to-day life, but also for what you envision in your future.
Because this is such a big commitment, knowing what to look for in the prospective houses you’re viewing and how to approach your home search is key to ensuring you find the right place at the right price. If you’re not sure what to look for or how to even begin your search, we’ve got the best tips to help you on your house hunt.
What to Do Before House-Hunting
Being prepared and knowledgeable before tackling a house hunt is very important to make sure you know what you’re looking for, what your budget is, and what your deal-breakers are. You’ll also need to prepare yourself to also have a realistic view of things, and not get swept up in random amenities or aspects of a home that are flashy and attractive, but that you don’t need.
You’ll also need to prepare yourself for your house hunt financially. Some of the best ways to assess your current situation and ready yourself for your house search is by doing the following:
- Start Saving
This way goes without saying, but before you start your house search, you should begin saving for your down payment. On top of saving for the actual costs going toward your home purchase itself, you also need to prepare to buy any new furniture, or appliances, for home renovations or repairs, and for the moving process itself. Ideally, you’ll have wanted to start saving for a while to have enough in the bank to make a difference in the interest rates you receive from possible lenders.
Qualifying for a mortgage can be tough, but having a good down payment will make your life a lot easier. The standard amount to have upfront for your down payment is 20% of your home’s cost, but that’s often an unrealistic amount to have saved for a lot of people, especially if you haven’t been saving for very long (or if you have an existing rental payment that prevents you from saving consistently).
If you’re not sure you’ll have enough saved for a good down payment on a house but are still interested in buying, there are plenty of programs that will help out first-time home buyers. There are tons of down payment assistance programs for people who can afford a mortgage, but who do not have enough upfront for a bulk down payment. Often differing from state to state, these programs can provide you with grants or money toward your payment.
There are also many home buyer programs that will provide you with low-interest loans that can help those who can’t afford down payments or who have low credit scores. They also especially cater to those who haven’t owned a home in the last few years.
- Make a Budget
Once you start saving for your home, make sure you have a basic budget in mind so that you have a realistic goal for how much your down payment savings should be. Always start making your budget before you start looking for your home so you don’t get unrealistic expectations or look at homes that you can’t afford.
- Be Mindful of Your Credit Score
Unfortunately, unless you join a program that makes it easier for those with bad credit to get approved for a mortgage, you’ll need to be conscious of your credit score months in advance, and know what you need to do to increase your score.
- Create a Timeline
This is especially important if you have a lease that will be ending at a certain time, or if you need to be moved into your new home within a certain time constraint. Work backward from your set deadline and create a realistic timeline for your home buying process. Additionally, start thinking of when you’d like to move, and when you’d like to be moved in if your timeline can be a little more flexible.
What to Look for During Your House-Hunt
Now that you’re ready to start looking for your new home, you’ve got to know how to simplify your house-hunting process so that you’re not caught up in looking at homes that don’t fit your needs or your budget. So what should you look for in your new house?
Location is one of the biggest factors you should take into consideration when buying a home. After all, there are a lot of things you can change about the interior or exterior of your home, but you can’t change its proximity to your work, public transportation, local grocery stores, or wherever else you frequent.
Write down a list of deal-breakers when it comes to location, including the distance from essentials like supermarkets, or requirements for school districts. You can also make a list of deal-breakers for a location like wanting to avoid living on big hills, wanting a certain view, or a list of ideal neighborhoods.
- Home Size
The most important thing for you to have with you during your house search is a list of requirements for your house itself. After all, you’re going to be committing to buy this place and live there for the foreseeable future.
Write down how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’re looking for, along with the ideal size or square footage, and what you’d like your parking or driveway situation to be. This list of requirements will make your search much easier to narrow down.
- Your In-Home Priorities
Think about your day-to-day activities and how your home will need to accommodate them. Are you into cooking, or preparing big meals for groups or family members? Do you need a lot of natural light or a place with a yard? You might not find a home that fits 100% of your requirements, but having these things in mind will let you prioritize what’s most important for you in your home search.
Oftentimes, you don’t know how valuable it is to have adequate storage space in your home until you get into your space. Having a lot of belongings with no places to put them can be a big problem, with not many solutions if you don’t pay attention to what you need and where you’ll be able to put some things. Keep this in mind especially if looking at older homes, as they often lack extra closets or hidden storage areas.
What to Do After Finding a New Home
Once you’ve done finding a new place and have closed on your new home, it’s time to start the move-in process! Having the best process to do so will also allow you to move into your home seamlessly, and take care of any improvements that need to be made ahead of time.
- Take Care of Home Improvements
Now, we’re not talking about big home repairs that should be taken care of by your home’s previous owner, or issues that might have come up in your home inspection. These are all things that should be covered before you move in, and the parameters of which should be detailed in your paperwork when you close.
Here, we’re talking more about painting rooms or customizing your home before you move in. Taking care of these tasks before your furniture or things are all moved in is a great idea that will let you handle these projects much easier, and without worrying about getting paint or debris on your things.
- Have the Right Moving Company
Once improvements have been made and your home is ready for you to move in, it’s time to pick a moving day and determine when you’d like to move into your new place. If your timeline is flexible, you can always start moving in gradually, or you can move in all at once with the right movers on your side.
Use Bekin Van Lines for all of the best moving services that will get you moved into your new home quickly, seamlessly, and at the most affordable prices. Our moving experts will be there to help you every step of the way when it comes to packing, moving, and any special services you might need.
When it comes to looking for and buying a new home, having the right plan and education to approach your relocation with a knowledgeable eye is key to getting the right place for the best deal.
Learn more about Bekin Van Lines and what our services can do for you today! We’ll be here for you in all aspects and craft the perfect moving experience for you and your family.