What to do BEFORE you go house hunting . . .
Before you start to look ... by Doug Taylor
- The most important of all things is for you to know your credit score. Take the time to get it from the reporting agencies so you have the real thing and not your guestimate.
- Make a budget. Most people skip this step. Look at how much income is coming in and what bills you have to meet monthly. Have this all in front of you before you start looking at homes. Calculate how much money you have to pay a mortgage each month. Then you will know where to begin your search.
- Find the best realtor for you. Talk to friends, interview the realtors. Don't just use the first one you see. You must be comfortable with the person that is searching for your home. They have to be invested in you and willing to listen to what your needs are. All realtors are not the same.
- It gets exciting now... make a list of what your dreams are in the new house. Make several columns to cover it: Needs, Must Haves, Wants Also consider the size of home you need to serve you and perhaps your family. Remember to think about furnishings you have and how things will fit. Decide ahead on how many bathrooms and bedrooms. Do you need a guest room? AND how is that kitchen? Is it updated? Are the bathrooms updated? Is there enough storage and closets?
- Location - Location - Location ... Look at where you work and where your family operates now. Draw a circle around the area that could encompass your search ahead of time. Nothing is worse than finding the perfect home and it is an hour drive from your job. In addition look around the area to see what is close by that meets your expectations. Are the homes neat and tidy? Are trashcans put out of sight? Is it a safe place for children to play?
- One more time, take another look at that budget and make sure you allowed for an emergency fund. You are suppose to have six months of savings to cover your bills if you were to lose your job or be injured.
- Before you walk into that door to look at the house, check your emotions at the door. Look at the house from a detached place.