If you read the introduction to this six-part series, you know that this week I’m going to cover some of the questions you should ask yourself as you embark on your home buying journey. I’ve broken these questions down into three major categories:
- Home and Property Details
How Much Home Can You Afford?
One of the most important steps you’ll take in this process is deciding how much you can afford to spend each month on a mortgage. The good news is that renters often experience a decrease in monthly payments for a property of the similar size and in the same location when you compare rent to mortgage amounts.
Knowing from the beginning what your budget limit is will aid you in your property search; you’ll be able to focus on homes you know you can afford. Trust me, few things are as crushing or heartbreaking as finding your “perfect” home before pre-approval only to discover you can’t afford it.
Where Do You Want to Live?
Where in the Skagit Valley or surrounding area do you feel most at home? Is it important to find entertaining things to do nearby? How nearby? Walking distance? A short drive? Do you have kids? What school will they go to? Is living near the ocean or a lake, river or stream a want or need? (Note: these are questions you should ask and answer for yourself, not necessarily ones you should ask me or any other real estate professional.)
As you can see, the litany of questions you should ask yourself about your choice of neighborhood is rather long. That’s because it’s probably the single most important decision you have when buying your first home. And you’re not alone, 63 percent of home buyers say that location was the most influential factor in deciding which home to buy.
What Property Features Are Important to You?
- This category of questioning refers to “creature comforts.” How big would you like your home to be? Choosing a minimum and maximum square footage will aid your search.
- How many bathrooms and bedrooms do you need? What features do you need or want in a bathroom?
- For many home buyers, the kitchen plays a major role in day-to-day activities. Do you need a gas range or is electric okay? Is the lack of a dishwasher (or space and hookups for one) a deal-breaker?
- What about the yard? Do you need a fence for Fido, Fluffy or the kids? Is it important you have space with ample sunlight for your award-winning tomatoes? Does existing landscaping leave room for personalization, or will you have to spend the money to rip it out?
Once you’ve answered these questions – and more! – you can begin the process of looking for your home. Obviously, we’re glad to help you in your search right here at BigLittleHome. Our listings are updated multiple times every hour with an IDX feed from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS), which means you can jump on your perfect property as soon as it hits the market. If you’d like to look at a few properties to find the right one for you and your family, call the Dominic Pettruzzelli Real Estate Team at 360-610-7256, and let us show you around!