Are you ready to put down roots? If you’ve declared 2022 as the year that you finally get the keys to your dream home, there are a few steps you’ll need to take care of first.
While you’re understandably excited to get this process rolling, you don’t want to rush into things. With the right order in place, you can rest assured that this home will be everything you expect and more.
Today, we’re sharing a list of items to take care of before you turn your dream into a reality.
1. Get Pre-Approved
Before you find a home and fall in love with it, make sure you can get a loan that covers it.
Unless you plan to pay for your home up-front with cash, you’ll likely need to finance at least a portion of the purchase. A smart homeowner will seek pre-approval before even browsing the housing market.
This is the step that shows you how much you’re qualified to borrow from a lender. It will also tell you whether or not you’re even eligible to receive a loan in the first place. Whether you plan to borrow money from a traditional bank, credit union, or an online lender, it’s still a good idea to take care of this step at the beginning.
2. Hire the Right Real Estate Agent
Unless you’re an industry expert yourself, you’ll need a real estate agent by your side during this exciting process. This professional is well-versed in your local housing scene, as well as the local and national real estate market. They can help you find properties that are comfortably within your price range.
Talk to your friends and family members to find the best realtor in your area. You can also check out online reviews and ask your social media followers who they’ve used in the past. Finding new homeowner listings can be challenging, and your agent will know exactly where to look and which spots to visit.
3. Get the Location Right
You don’t want to find your dream home in a spot that’s hours away from where you need to be! If you’re willing to relocate to snag the right property, then this point won’t be as applicable.
However, there’s a good chance that you need to stay within a certain radius. Your job, children’s school district, and family will usually dictate how far you’re able to travel. You may also take into consideration the location of your church, your favorite stores, or even a local park you love.
Once you’re pre-approved for a loan and you’ve connected with the right agent, it’s time to nail down the location. Start by asking yourself if you want to live out in the country, in the middle of a bustling city, or a suburb that offers the best of both worlds.
Your agent can help you tour various neighborhoods to learn more about the amenities they provide.
4. Determine the Type of Home You Want
For some people, a dream home is a mansion on a hill, sitting on 30 acres. For others, it’s a single-family brick ranch in a comfortable neighborhood. You may also prefer the ease and convenience of a townhouse or condo, especially if you’re retired.
Think about how much space you’ll need, and how you plan to live in your beloved home. Do you want to take care of a yard, or would you prefer an HOA to do that for you? Do you want multiple stories or a house that allows you to age in place?
These are all important considerations to keep in mind, and your agent can help you locate properties near you that fit the bill.
5. Make Sure It Has the Features You Want
When searching for your dream home, it’s easy to get hung up on aesthetics. A particular house might have all of the exterior features that you want, and you’re sold on it as soon as you step out of the car.
Even if it checks every box on the way up the front steps, you still need to take a tour of the interior. Make sure that it has the correct number of bedrooms and bathrooms that your family needs, as well as other features that are important to you, such as:
- Adequate living space
- Eat-in kitchen
- Basement or attic
- Closet space
In addition, since we’re talking about your dream house, don’t be afraid to make your wishlist a little longer. This is the home you’ll be in for the long haul, so you want to make sure you love it. Think about the amount of land you’d prefer, the outdoor view you’d like, and other neighborhood amenities.
6. Make an Offer
Once you’ve toured your top properties and weighed the pros and cons of each place, you should be ready to make a final buying decision! Your real estate agent will draft a purchase agreement that outlines your offer to the sellers.
Once you sign it, they’ll receive it and go over it. Then, they can choose to accept or reject your proposal. They can also choose to counter-offer with a different buying price. Both your agent and the seller’s agent will work together to come up with terms that everyone can agree on.
Discover the Joys of Dream Home Living
Even if you grew up with a vision of your dream home in your mind, it’s likely evolved over the years. The features that you once prioritized might not seem as important now, and vice versa.
When you finally cross that threshold, it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Yet, you have to take care of the steps above before you can get there. While it might take longer than you thought, the result will be worth it!
Looking to spruce up your home once you’re in it? Check out our Home Improvement section!