Many people in the world have the same basic dream when they’re younger. They want to be successful, they want a loving family, and they want to live in a big, safe house with a nice yard, a picket fence, smack dab in the middle of a niche neighborhood. The home of your dreams is something you will undoubtedly try to make a reality at different points throughout your life.
If you think you’re ready to make that move, then there are a few things you should realize before leaping right in. Planning the process and using some solid tips along the way will increase your odds of finding the home of your dreams for a price you can afford.
5 Great tips for finding your dream home
1: Dream realistically
Wanting champagne and caviar on a shrimp cocktail budget is what led in big part to the 2008 housing crisis. Yes, lenders were unscrupulous, and bankers, speculators and traders attempting to become rich screwed the prices up drastically. But people shopping above their limit wasn’t smart. Keep this in mind while you’re envisioning your “dream” home. Do you need extra bedrooms, multiple bathroom, acres of land, brand new amenities and fixtures, etc? First things first: You have to dream realistically.
2: Tidy up your credit
Because of the shape the market is in today, getting a home mortgage isn’t as easy as it once was. You should look into tidying up your credit. Find a free credit report and look at different ways to shore things up. Find a good co-signer if possible. Present a plan to the lenders. And unless you have no other options available, stay away from an adjustable-rate mortgage. You may be able to get pre-approved for a flat rate, at least for 5 or so years, to give you some predictability.
3: Make a list of must-haves
What must you have in your dream package? This is a list you need to make. A ground-floor master, a garden, a good school district, a safe neighborhood, etc – these are typically part of people’s must-have lists. Use the realistic example and create a list of your home must-haves, and then be willing to compromise with yourself to narrow it down. For example, if one of your musts is a large laundry room, understand that budgeting might make it necessary for something like this to be sacrificed. So make sure it’s truly a “must” on the list.
4: Learn all about the home
When you find a solid contender for your dream home, you want to learn all about the home. There are many things you need to consider, and many of those things might be (conveniently) overlooked by an inspector, especially working for the lender. You want to know a lot about the home, including:
- Its past owners
- The neighborhood/district
- How the pipes/wiring operate behind the scenes
- If the appliances function
- If there’s any structural damage
- How the roof/ceiling is holding up
- The home’s insulation
- The age of the home and its history of maintenance
With this information, you know what you’re getting into.
5: Be willing to build
If a home has some damage, don’t fret and run away. You should never be afraid to build your dream home. Practically speaking, damage that costs you a few thousand pounds to fix will end up knocking three or four times that off of the price. So you’re not only saving money, but you’re also fixing the home to your more exact image. You can find professionals out there to handle damage restoration for a great price and great turnaround time. You can mold your home into your dream home and save money in the process.
Shopping for your dream home is definitely doable on practically any budget, as long as you’re willing to be realistic, and as long as you don’t shy away from fixer-uppers.