Everyone seems to share a few basic goals in life. We want to work at a job we like that pays the bills. We want to find that special someone to settle down with. And we want to find our dream house.
Sometimes, this last one is the hardest of all! Balancing budget, lifestyle choices and location logistics is no easy task, especially when there is a family involved and you all want different things.
Here are a few tips on how to find your dream house without losing your mind.
1. Identify Your Goal
Before you make the life-changing decision to purchase your dream house, take a deep breath and identify your goals.
Are you looking for the perfect house to flip? Maybe you want to buy and sell your dream home right away, making a big profit that you can spend on other dreams.
Are you buying a house to raise your kids and pass down to your grandchildren? Do you envision a picket fence and a backyard for years of family enjoyment?
Or is this purchase an investment? Will owning this property diversify your portfolio and take advantage of the tax benefits associated with owning real estate?
Many dreams involve a dream house. Make sure you know what you want. What is the 40-year plan? Looking at the big picture will help guide your decisions along the way.
2. Make a Budget
For many of us, a dream home might be a villa on the Mediterranean. However, not all dreams can come true.
To find a dream that really can materialize, it helps to know your limits. Being realistic about your finances will take a lot of the stress out of finding your dream home.
Look at your monthly budget and examine how much you can afford to spend on a mortgage, insurance, and utilities. Take a hard look at your savings and other assets to see how much you can afford to put down as a down payment.
You will have to look at your income streams as well. Perhaps you expect to make more money in a few years, so a dream house that seems too expensive now may actually be a great investment in the future.
If you expect to have a child, will one of you take time off to stay home, or continue working? All of these long-term decisions will go into your income projections. Looking at the long term will help you figure out what you can spend now.
3. Know How to Sell Your Current House Quickly
If you already own a home, you may need to sell it in order to afford your dream home. For many people, their home is their single biggest asset.
Timing becomes critical in the search for a dream home: you may find the place you have always wanted, but then you need to unload your previous abode in order to afford the new one!
If you are working with a real estate agent, that may prolong the process. A realtor will want to fix up the house, and “stage” it so it looks beautiful for prospective buyers. They will hold open houses and place advertisements.
Depending on the housing market where you live, this process could take a long time. Even in a hot real estate market, you may have to wait for your prospective buyer to get approved for a mortgage.
If you are in a real hurry, you may want to consider selling to an investor. The purchase process is much less time-consuming and complex than with a realtor. An investor will take the place “as is,” so you don’t have to worry about repairs and staging.
A reputable real estate investor like Anderson Real Estate Investments LLC will also have the liquid funds available to buy your home quickly, without having to wait for bank approvals on mortgages. These sales can happen in as little as 7-10 days.
If you need to sell your place fast in order to close on your dream home, selling to an investor can take a lot less time than selling through a real estate agent.
4. Decide Whether You Will Fix It Up
Are you a fixer-upper? Do you love doing your own demolition, tiling, and painting? It’s important to decide upfront whether you want a house that is in pristine condition or a house that needs a little TLC.
If you are handy, it is often economical to buy a house that you can work on. You will be able to make it look exactly the way you wish, and you will also save money.
Again, be realistic about your capabilities. If you are not a trained plumber or electrician, don’t try to lay the pipes or rewire the electric system yourself. You may end up spending more money to get it fixed by professionals!
5. Make a Wish List
After you determine the big picture, you can then move on to your individual desires for a house. Do you want to live on the water? Do you need a restaurant-quality kitchen?
Does your dream house need to be within a certain distance of schools or work? Do you like the hustle and bustle of the city or do you want to hear the birds chip in the morning?
If you work from home, you may have special requirements. You may need high-speed internet, a separate work area away from distractions, and a place to meet and greet clients.
Make a list of what you want in your dream home, what you need, and where you are willing to compromise. Soon you will realize what is a deal breaker (the kids need separate bedrooms!) and where you can let go of one dream in favor of another (the master bathroom with the clawfoot tub and two sinks may need to wait).
6. Draw Up a Timeline
Like any big project, a timeline will keep you focused on the goal. Set deadlines for yourself to speak with realtors and investors, look at properties and put your current house on the market.
Being flexible helps as well. You may encounter delays. You may even find one dream home, only to lose it in a bidding war!
Dreams are not achieved overnight, and your dream home may take more time than you expect to find, fix and finance.
7. Speak to a Professional for Help Finding Your Dream House
If you want to find your dream house, unless you are a professional realtor, you will have to rely on the advice of others. Bankers, real estate agents, and contractors can all provide meaningful input.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to others for advice on making these important decisions about buying your dream home. As with any dream, it may be a long learning curve, but it will be worth the wait.
You Can Attain Your Dream House!
There is so much to think about in searching for the home of your dreams, from what you can afford to what your family needs now and in the long run. The process can be so daunting that it might be easy to throw up your hands and give up!
By breaking down the process into easily manageable steps, you can tackle the big questions and conquer all of the logistical challenges. Arm yourself with knowledge and you can prepare yourself for the journey ahead.
Once the process is complete, you will be so glad you persevered!
For more advice on learning how to buy a house, or anything else that can help you achieve your dreams, contact us.