Though it can be exciting, buying a new home, especially your first, can be very overwhelming. You may find yourself looking at multiple types of homes in different locations, trying to figure out just what you are looking for. You may also find several homes that you could see yourself living in, making it even harder to decide which one to choose.
The process doesn't have to be so hard. Here is a checklist to help you find the perfect home.
Know your limit. It is important that you get pre-approved before you look at a single home. If not, you could find yourself loving a home that you could never afford.
When that happens, you are going to compare every other home to it, so you won't ever find a place that you can call home.
Do you have any must-haves? Most people dream about a home and what they want in it. They have some things that need to be in a home, or it is a deal breaker. You need to think long and hard about the things that you want and things that you must have.
Can you live without an open floor plan? Do you need a fireplace to keep you warm on a cold night? Do you want a pool for your children (and their friends)?
Don't forget about convenience. It is important that you are happy with the location that you choose. Do you want to be close to family and friends? How close? Do you want to be able to walk to their homes or is a quick drive good enough for you?
This also applies to stores and public transportation. Are you close enough to walk to the grocery store (if that is what you want)? If you don't have a car, are you close enough to public transportation, so you are able to get where you need to go easily? If you have children (or want some in the future), can you walk to a park so they can enjoy time outside when it is nice?
Think about the future. Though a one or two bedroom home will work for you now, you should consider how your needs may change in the future (unless you just want to buy a starter home).
Are you planning on having children? How many? Do you want them to share bedrooms or should they each get their own?
If you don't live near your family, are you going to want a spare bedroom for them to visit? Are you going to start a business or work from home? Will you need a whole room dedicated as an office?
Before you even start looking for your dream home, you need to know how much you can afford to spend and what you are looking for. There is no point in looking at homes that you will never be able to buy or you may never find a home that matches the one that you fell in love with.
You also need to figure out what you want and what you must have. Come up with your deal breakers and stick to it. If you want a fireplace, make sure that you buy a home that has one. You also need to think about convenience. How close do you want to be to your family? What about stores? Do you need to be close to public transportation, so you are able to get to where you need to?
The future is also important unless you are planning on just living in your home for a short amount of time. Are you planning on having children and need a few extra rooms? Are you going to start a business and you need an office?