The weather is warming up (unless you live on the east coast, I am so very sorry). The lovely California weather is warm enough for me to start planting my garden (you are allowed to curse my name at this point if you are still snowed in). Maybe the winter weather you are currently experiencing will motivate you to move somewhere warmer! Who knows, maybe you can sweet talk your way to some orders to Hawaii? One can dream! If you are in the market for a new house, keep these points in mind:
Set a Budget
Take a good look at your finances and figure out how much you can comfortably afford to pay for a home. This includes a down payment, potential closing costs, taxes and monthly mortgage payments. Set a budget and STICK to it. The last thing you want is to start the year worrying about how you will make your monthly payments. Also, remember buying a home means additional costs other than the mortgage like insurance, property taxes and maintenance.
Make a Wish List
Have an idea what kind of home and the amenities you would like for it to come with. Know which neighborhoods you are interested in and research areas with good schools. It is also helpful to have a list of features you desire in your new home. Things like open floor plan, pool, number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Your wish list will help you narrow your search and cut out any listings that will not meet your needs.
Do Your Research
Research the selling prices of similar homes in the areas you are interested in so you have an idea of a reasonable asking price. This is also a good time to check out crime rates in the area to ensure there are no red flags in relation to the home you are considering.
Find an Agent
It is important to find a real estate agent who has your best interests in mind. It is not a necessity to use an agent when purchasing a home, but it is very helpful to have a knowledgeable and experienced individual working on your behalf.
Take Advantage of Military Friendly Resources
- Militarybyowner.com: provides advertising support to military families trying to sell or rent their homes
- AHRN.com: provides military members with access to information on available housing from anywhere in the world 24/7/365, allowing them to start the home finding process as soon as they receive their orders.
- Homecircle.com: provides search tools, guidance and products to meet all your real estate needs
- MilitaryTownAdvisor.com: is a PCS relocation resource and military housing site that allows military families to help other military families by writing reviews about military towns.
Soon enough you can be moving into the home of your dreams! Please share your tips and experiences buying a home in the comments.