Once you and/or your family are ready to buy a home, the excitement can often zip you out to driving through neighborhoods and popping into open houses.
But if you haven’t spent time really thinking about what you can afford and what your needs, wants and expectations are, you could accidently fall in love with a house for all of the wrong reasons and end up living in serious regret. Almost half of Americans end up with buyer’s remorse for these very reasons.
Taking just a bit of extra time before starting your search can help you avoid the dreaded buyer’s remorse and find your real dream home.
Identify A REALISTIC Budget
Before going out and falling hopelessly in love with a house you cannot afford, determine what your budget is. You can get help with this sometimes from the right realtor or from someone at the bank.
Remember that the money you spend on buying a new home will not just be the price tag on the house. There will be closing costs, taxes and insurance, potential realtor costs, and move-in costs such as a moving truck or company, possible repairs, paint and/or flooring and even new furniture or décor that you will want to purchase to make your new house your new home.
So, figure out your total budget, and find a house that is either absolutely perfect as is at that price (or lower) or a house that is enough lower than your budget to allow you to use the rest of your budget to purchase the items you will need.
How Long Are You Staying?
Before you get wrapped up in the exciting process of the next step below, think about why you’re moving, where you are moving to and what stage of life you are in.
Are you single and just looking to have a more settled lifestyle, but don’t plan to stay put long, or are hopeful to grow into a family someday soon? Than your needs and wants should be impacted by that reality and should be different than say the fully established family with a parent who just landed his/her dream job and isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
Being conscious of stage of life you are in and the length of time in that location should help you form a more reasonable needs and wants list
Make a List
Identify your needs and wants (make sure you distinguish the two) and put them in order from most important to least important and identify what are non-negotiables and what are negotiable.
To help you make a reasonable one, think about the above question, and think about what your most lived in rooms are and what things are in your near and longer future (are you growing a work-from-home business? Do you plan to homeschool your kids or will they attend school, etc.)
For instance, you may envision a home with 4 rooms, and a certain style of kitchen. If the right kitchen is the most important, and you find a home that has only 3 rooms, but also has a den or a basement, you can use that as a compromise point.
It’s hard to find your dream home if you don’t have a clear picture of what exactly that is. And it’s easier to sit down, think through and decide those things before you start walking into homes and getting overwhelmed by perhaps a really awesome detail that may actually not matter that much to you in the long run.
This is all the more important if you are searching for a home for you and your partner and/or family.
How Handy Are You?
An important thing to remember is that a house does not have to look exactly like how you envision home, because you can transform many different houses into your ideal home. However, that does take work which will require both your time and money (and even more money if you can’t do the transformation yourself).
Keeping this in mind and deciding beforehand how much work and money you are willing to put into the house (or not) will help you determine how move-in ready the house you are looking for is. This can limit or expand your options significantly, so really have this figured out before you start your search.
If you have children who will be attending school, look up Oklahoma schools in the area you want to move to. If many of the possible schools are acceptable, you don’t have to worry about this as much. However, if there is one particular school you definitely want your child(ren) to attend, you will want to make sure that the home you choose is zoned for it.
Have Realistic Expectations
While you can find a home that equates to your “dream home” you will still most likely not be able to find an exact match that fits your budget and/or location needs. Know that there will be compromises somewhere and decide beforehand what you are willing to compromise on and what you are not.
If you are looking for homes for sale in Oklahoma, you have so many amazing options. It can be an overwhelming process, though, and it is often hard to know where to begin your search, once you are ready. A great resource that can help you get your feet wet is www.homesoklahoma.org.