You’ve decided that apartment life is no longer for you. Time to buy a home and put down roots. So what should you do now? Just start looking? No. You need a plan and should do a few things first.
Decide what you want and can afford
First task? Figure out exactly what you want. It sounds like a silly thing to do, but how can you look if you don’t know what you’re looking for? Do you want a single family home? A townhome? A condo? How big? How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Lots of land around it or not? Do you want a modern look or more traditional? A fully updated home or one you can fix up the way you want? What about location? Schools?
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider. How can you possibly know where to look if you can’t answer those questions. It’s also exactly what your realtor is going to ask you. Another factor in knowing what you want is whether what you want is what you can afford.
Next, after you figure out what you want and whether you can afford it, start your mortgage hunt now. Going into negotiations with a seller being pre-approved before hand for your mortgage is a huge advantage.
If you can’t get pre-approved it’s good to know that now before you start your search and get your heart set on a home. It will give you time to fix whatever the problem is, be it your credit or the size of mortgage you can actually qualify for, before you start your search.
Figure out a timeline and plan your move
Last, now that you know what you want and have a mortgage pre-approved you should set a timeline for your purchase of a family home.. You may find the perfect family home right away, but probably not.
The search can take time. Use that time to plan your move as well. Look at the notice requirements for your current lease, if you’re renting, and make sure you give the right amount of time. Then start your search.