Buying a home requires a significant investment of time and money. Before you begin your search, take the time to ask yourself key questions that will uncover your real estate preferences and goals so that your home buying search is structured, efficient, and organized.
Ben Falchi and Peta Mathews of The Falchi Mathews Team at Triplemint have worked with hundreds of buyers in finding their perfect home. Before embarking on the home buying journey, they offer 6 questions every home buyer should consider:
1. What is important to you in a new home?
Light? Space? Views? Wheelchair accessibility? A yard? Proximity to schools / parks / your gym? Do you have a preferred floor plan layout? Will you need an extra bedroom? Storage space? Parking? Do you care about friendly neighbors? Luxury living? Low monthly fees?
When it comes to homes, the list of amenities, features, and options can seem endless. “Before you begin your search, take the time to sit down and determine the home features that are most important to you, and which ones you can live without.” says Peta. Use this checklist to determine what homes are worth visiting and as a guide for what budget is realistic, given the amenities deemed important.
2. What property type are you looking for?
Are you looking for a primary residence, investment property, or pied-à-terre? If you live in a city, do you require a condo with flexible subletting policies or are you fine with a co-op that may have restrictions on pied-à-terres or co-purchasing?
3. What is your endgame?
Understanding the primary goal behind your purchase will go far in informing your house hunting strategy. For example, are you solely looking to make a shrewd investment or are you hoping to find the best home for your children while they are at school? Is this a stepping stone to your next project or is this the house you want in your family for generations to come? Budget and life stage will inform your answers to these questions but it’s important to give your real estate endgame some thought before diving into such a significant purchase.
4. Are you looking for a turnkey home or are you willing to renovate?
Financial and timing implications must be considered if taking on a project. Ben adds, “If you are willing to renovate, how much time and money do you want to invest? Does this apply to all rooms or are some more important than others? A new bathroom or kitchen is much less complex, costly, and time consuming than a full gut renovation.” Tackling this question now – with a clear head and without time restrictions – will lead to fewer headaches in the future.
5. What is on your nice-to-have list and what is on your must-have list?
Similar to your “importance check-list” above, your must-have list contains the deal breakers that you absolutely must have in your new home. Breaking out deal breakers from nice-to-haves will help you make the tough decisions when you get close to putting in an offer. To download Triplemint’s must-have check list, click here.
6. What neighborhoods are you considering?
If you haven’t taken time to explore the neighborhoods that you are considering (and even some you haven’t considered), you might miss out on finding the right community feeling. Take the time to research and spend time in the neighborhoods you are considering. Pay close attention to the noise level of the street, the amount of traffic, and the level of access to basics like grocery stores and transit. Scope out things to do. Envision your life there and how you might feel waking up in the neighborhood on a sunny Sunday morning.
Once you have clarified the answers to each question above, you should then begin assembling a team with extensive experience in the local market to make your dream home a reality. “This process is all about relationships” says Peta, “When buying, you need an incredible team. Your relationship with your broker matters, your relationship with your real estate attorney matters, and even your relationship with your mortgage broker matters.”
Ben adds, For help with purchasing the home of your dreams, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be connected with an expert agent today.