July 1, 2022
9 Tips to Help You Find the Perfect Home
how to find the perfect home

9 Tips to Help You Locate the Perfect Home 

You’ve decided it’s finally time to purchase your perfect home! Only one problem remains, how do you find your ideal house? Sifting through countless listings and taking the time to visit open houses can be exhausting and not conducive to a busy schedule. So we want to save you some time and headache by providing you with the answers to how to find the perfect home.

Potential buyers often talk in general terms about their ideal new home. For example, some might want a “big” home or an “open floor plan.” However, it can help you target your search and get better results if you start to think in specifics. What does “big” mean to you? How do you define an “open floor plan”? 

Before you begin your search, it will be beneficial to write two lists. One of your future home needs and one of your future home wants. It can be easy to mix up these two lists, and “wants” often end up on the “needs” list. For example, you might want a giant backyard or an in-ground pool, but you probably could survive without one. 

In addition, your needs list may develop and change as you discover what is available on the market in your price range. So, unless you’re rocking unlimited resources, you might need to make a few compromises along your home hunting journey. 

We want to help make your house hunt as smooth as possible! Here we have 9 tips on how to find the perfect home and give you a solid foundation to start your journey! 


1. What’s Your Budget?

Fully understanding your finances will help you know what price range you should be looking in. It will also help the process of putting in an offer go faster, which can be beneficial in a competitive housing market. Get pre-approved before beginning your search.

Start by ordering a credit report and credit score to see where your credit stands. Ordering a credit report also helps you determine where you can make improvements by correcting errors or paying down certain debts. Next, gather proof of income in the form of W2s and paystubs. Finally, tally the available funds for a down payment and closing costs.

Ask yourself a few questions:

  • What’s your ideal price range?
  • What is your down payment price?
  • What do you have saved for needed repairs? 
  • Are you willing to do extra renovations? 


2. Stay on Budget

It is tempting to hunt for houses at the top of your price range, especially once you’ve been pre-approved! However, while you might be pre-approved for a certain amount, you might not feel completely comfortable with that big a mortgage! 

Experts recommend using the 28/36 rule. Your monthly housing expenses should not be greater than 28% of your gross monthly income. Your monthly expenses – including housing, student loans, credit card payments, car payments, etc. should not be greater than 36% of your gross monthly income. 


3. What’s Your Lifestyle?

You might want to consider your lifestyle and your plans for the future. What do you enjoy about your current living situation? What needs to change? What are the important things you need in a home for future goals?

Here are some questions to contemplate when looking at homes:

  • Do I need space for a future nursery or a home office?
  • Do I need any special features for my children or pets? For example, a fenced-in yard or minimal staircases.
  • Do I need wheelchair access?
  • Do I need a space for a car, such as a garage? Is street parking going to be a challenge? 
  • Do I need a larger kitchen to make feeding a large family or entertaining guests easier?
  • Do I plan on changing careers in the near future?  


4. What’s Your Home Style and Type?

There is usually a specific style of home we are each drawn to! Maybe you love the modern, sleek minimalist look, the classic Victorian era, or a Southern-style house. Whatever your style, you’ll also want to consider what type of home and features will work best for you. Think about the different types of houses currently on the market and what neighborhoods you’d prefer to live in! Ideally, plan on living in your new home for the next five to seven-plus years. Doing so can enable you to pay down the mortgage and build equity.

While you might have the basics figured out, the following questions can help you set the groundwork for determining precisely what features you need in a home. 

  • How many stories do I want?
  • Do I want to live in a townhouse, condo, or single-family house?
  • How many bedrooms do I need?
  • How many bathrooms do I need?
  • Do I need a guest room?
  • What type of flooring do you like, and what type is best suited for my lifestyle?
  • What’s my favorite room in the house, and what makes spending time there enjoyable?
  • Is outdoor space important to me? 
  • Do I enjoy yard work or feel burdened by it (be honest!)? 


5. Looking Past the Flaws 

Likely, the homes you view won’t perfectly meet every single item on your ideal checklist. It is more likely that the home will have a few things that aren’t your favorite. However, that doesn’t mean that the house can’t become your perfect match! 

Exterior cosmetic blemishes can transform to best fit your style, preferences, and tastes. You just have to see past them! For example, if the living room is rocking a ’70s yellow coat of paint and orange shag carpet, you can always repaint and rip out the carpet. 

Don’t write off homes that might not initially meet your exact cosmetic style and preferences. Instead, look beyond the initial paint colors and hunt for a well-built home in your ideal location with the amount of space you need, some of the features you love, a layout that best fits your lifestyle, and a price point that enables you to make a few changes. 


6. Always Look Twice!

Once you’ve found a home and determined this might be the one, take a second look before making an offer. A home and a neighborhood can be completely different at different times of the day or week. For example, a community might be quiet and peaceful on a weekday morning but be noisy and chaotic on a weekend night. Try to view the home at two different times of day and two different times during the week! 

It is also so easy to get quickly sidetracked by the excitement of buying a new home. If a home makes a solid first impression, it can be easy to miss things the first time around. Taking a second look ensures you know exactly what you’re getting into! 


7. Location, Location, Location! 

We’ve all heard that location is everything! In fact, McDvonald’s multibillion-dollar success is due to its real estate choices, not its burgers! It’s all about location. You can change countless things about your home, but the location is not one of them. 

  • Do you want to live in an urban, suburban, or rural?
  • What is your dream city to live in? 
  • What is the community’s crime rate?
  • What are the schools like in that district?
  • Is it important to have easy access to highways or public transportation?
  • How important is the view?
  • What activities are going on around you — are there enough or too many?
  • What is your commute like?
  • Do you need to travel far for essentials like groceries or a doctor’s appointment?
  • Does traffic noise impact your quality of sleep? 
  • Are there parks you can walk or bike to?
  • What are the property taxes? Are there HOA fees? Do they fit your budget? 


8. Always Get a Home Inspection

The home’s condition can appear perfect, but we all know looks can be deceiving. So save yourself potential heartache (and money) by getting a home inspection by a licensed home inspector. A highly-recommended, quality home inspector will tell you when to replace the roof, the foundation’s condition, when to replace the water heater, etc. 


9. Flexibility is Important

Think of buying a house, like looking for the perfect partner. There is what you imagine in your mind will be your best match, but who you actually end up with might not be what you originally had in mind. If you stay flexible and are willing to compromise, you might find that your dream home wasn’t what you initially thought it might be! 

Finding your dream home can take time. Be patient, and the right one will come along! By doing a bit of planning, some initial groundwork, and following these tips on how to find the perfect home, you will find an ideal match! 

If you are trying to find a home in beautiful, sunny Southwest Florida, the Westerfield Group wants to help you in your journey! Looking at our listings is easy; You can search by lifestyle or property hereContact us for all of your home buying needs and learn how we can help find your perfect home love match! 

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Published: July 1, 2022
Author: The Westerfield Group
Categories : Uncategorized