House hunting is both exciting and exhausting. You can't wait to have a place to call your own, but you want to make absolutely certain the home you buy is the right one. One way to simplify the process and make sure you don't buy a home you regret is to make a few important decisions before you even start shopping. Here's a look at those decisions.
What's your maximum budget?
Just because the bank approved you for a mortgage of up to $150,000 does not mean you should spend that much on your home. You don't want to buy too expensive of a house and then end up unable to make all your payments. Sit down and make a monthly budget in which you list all of your expenses, from gasoline to car student loan payments. Figure out how much you can afford to pay per month for a home, and then use an online calculator to calculate the total home price you can afford based on this monthly payment and the rate your mortgage lender has offered you.
What home improvement projects are you unwilling to do?
Everyone has a different skill level when it comes to home improvement. Some people can barely paint, while others can put a whole roof on by themselves. To ensure you don't end up buried in more repairs than you can handle, make a list of home improvements that you're not willing to do. Then make sure you walk away from homes that require these improvements.
What areas are you willing to buy in?
If you don't narrow down your shopping perimeter, you may find yourself looking at houses in a pretty large radius. It's hard to be an expert on the school district, neighborhood features, and other community aspects of such a broad space. You don't want to have to spend hours researching an area when you find a home you like -- you might lose the home to another buyer in the meantime. So sit down now and research all of the neighborhoods in your buying area. Make a shortlist of about 5 where you'd prefer to live. This way, when you find a home in one of these areas, you can make an offer a lot faster without having to research the area.
To learn more about the home buying process, talk to a real estate agency in your area, such as Reece Nichols Real Estate.