Buying a home can take a few short months or even years to complete, particularly when it is your first home. An article in AOL.com points out that your criteria will probably change along the way, but it does pay to think about what's important to you in a property before you really start searching.
Making a little bit of effort to sort out the most important factors will help save time in the future and, and will also help clarify where it might be possible to make compromises, and when it's important to stick to your original plans. According to the article there are three distinct phases in the process of home buying.
The process begins with dreaming about the type of property you like to buy. Nowadays it is easy to consider all the options available through searching the Internet, and to get a good feel for what's on the market and the kind of amenities that might be included in the price. While some of these amenities might be considered essential, others could be just a bonus if they happen to be available. As you begin to search more seriously you will almost certainly find these criteria change as you begin to work out areas where you have to compromise.
The next step is to get ready to buy a home. It's best to get pre-approval from a bank, and to find a good local agent you feel happy working with. You also need to determine where you'd like to live, and your upper and lower price brackets. The location is particularly important, as an older or outdated home can always be renovated but it's not so easy to change location. At this point many homebuyers will consider properties that don't exactly meet their criteria but which can be adapted to fit simply because they are in the ideal location.
Once you have determined where you'd like to live and the price, the next thing to consider is the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and overall size of the home. The size of the property is often determined by the location, and considerations such as the size of the lot, floor plan and whether or not the basement is finished can often take second place to location and price. The article also points out the importance of thinking ahead, as your priorities may well change even a couple of years down the line.
Sorting out these factors before you begin your search can help save a lot of time and effort and it should help you choose the property that really does suit your needs.