Searching for your dream home is a complex task. For one, no two homebuyers are the same. Everyone has different ideas about what their dream home would look like. In addition, renovated houses and newer modern homes offer many cool features prospective homeowners can enjoy. Making the best decision on your dream house requires a lot of information, and luckily we’re here to provide you with some crucial tips to help your house search. So, let’s begin.
Step 1: Get Pre-Approved for Your Mortgage
Before we get into all the fun about your prospective home’s features, you must consult with a lender and get a pre-approval letter. This letter lets you discuss loan options with your lender and gives you a clearer picture of your house-hunting budget and how much you can put down for a monthly mortgage.
Pre-approval assesses your finances and determines your ability to pay off your mortgage according to several factors:
- Your debt-to-income ratio
- Your loan-to-value ratio
- Your credit history
- Your FICO score
- Your income
- Your employment history
Your lender will thoroughly inspect every nook and cranny of your finances, but once this is complete, you’ll be able to conduct the rest of your house hunt confidently.
Step 2: Categorize Your Wants
Here’s where the fun begins. Get ready to break out those mood boards! At Grand Homes, we believe that homes should be an expression of their owners. So let your imagination run wild. However, keep your pre-approved mortgage in mind. Your budget will dictate which features are feasible and which ones aren’t.
Once you’ve done your research, you’ll need to sort your wants into three categories: Must-haves (Needs), Nice-to-Haves (Non-Dealbreakers) & Dream State (Wildcard Features). Remember that each category’s features will differ from person to person. Some examples we’ve seen in past customers are:
- The number of bedrooms & bathrooms
- Distance from work & family
- Overall energy efficiency
- Low crime rate
- Functional, sustainable roofing
- Garage storage space
- Built-in security system
- Multiple walk-in closets & pantries
- Uncommon architectural styles
- Paved Patio
Must-haves are non-negotiable, and we encourage new homebuyers to stand firm on their must-haves. Do you want a home in a good school district? Don’t budge on that. Do you want your kids to have separate bedrooms for the first time? Don’t budge on that. Do you want to cut your work commute in half to free up more time for your family? Don’t budge. However, you must find things you’re willing to compromise on, which will fall into the other categories.
Step 3: Consult with a Real Estate Advisor
Once you have a list of wants and needs, we recommend you go over them with an experienced real estate advisor. Getting insight from an advisor will sure up any gaps in your research, and advisors are in a better position to inform you about the nuances of your particular housing market. Speaking to an advisor helps you manage your expectations, and, in rare occurrences, they can help you save big bucks on your next home purchase.
If you’re a prospective home buyer house hunting in the DFW metroplex, contact us at Grand Homes today. We’d be happy to help you.