The Right Home For Your Family

Find The Right Home For Your Family

Finding the right home for your family can be a challenge. Before you purchase one, it’s important to have a good handle on what you’re looking for, as well as what you and the other members of your household may need.

How will you know which home is the right one for you and your family? Here are a few tips to find a home that best fits your lifestyle and budget:

Know How Much Home You Can Afford

Your budget should be the first thing to consider before you start looking for that perfect family home. It’s important to know how much you’ll be spending for your new house because it affects the size and the location of your home. The cost of your home also depends on which community you decide to live in, and its proximity to key amenities like schools and central business districts.

Budget Tips:

  • If you’re able to pay in cash, do it. If you’re getting a mortgage, don’t buy a house unless you know the mortgage payment will be no more than 25% of your take-home pay. Be sure to include private mortgage insurance (PMI), homeowners association (HOA) fees, property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.
  • Save for your down payment. Save at least 20% (or absolutely no less than 10%) of the total house price to avoid paying PMI. Use a mortgage calculator to enter your down payment amount and try out different home prices within your budget.
  • Get a mortgage pre-approval to show the seller you’re a serious buyer.

Have A Family Discussion

After figuring out your budget, the next step is to gather the family to discuss what each member wants to have in the new home. Because each family member has different needs and wants, it’s important to address them. This way, you’ll have an idea of what to look for during your home search. You can also come to an agreement about the family’s overall goal for buying a house so it can become the context upon which individual wants and needs can be gauged.

Select A Location

The location of your future home depends on whether your family would prefer to live in the city or in the suburbs. Knowing this narrows down your search and helps you decide what kind of home you’d like to live in. You also need to check if there are nearby schools, malls, parks in the area.

Determine How Big Your Home Should Be

If you have a big family, or you’re planning to grow your family in the future, you will need to get a home with more space than you need now. But if you know that your children will be moving out in a couple of years, it’s best to get a home that simply serves current needs so you can avoid having a huge and empty house to yourself in the future.

Check Out The Neighborhood

Choose your neighborhood wisely. Drive around the area yourself to get the vibe of the place. Is it family-friendly? Are the parks, playground, and community centers in the potential neighborhood well maintained? Make sure that your potential neighborhood is secure enough to your liking so that your family stays safe at all times.

Neighborhood Styles

Every community is unique, and the one you choose to buy a property in will ultimately play a role in your long-term happiness and well-being. Depending on where you’re located, you may find one or all of these neighborhood types in your area:

  • Urban: These are communities in busy metro areas, often offering easy access to restaurants, shopping and public transportation. Properties tend to be smaller in these areas due to the high number of people that may live there.
  • Cul-de-sac: Cul-de-sac neighborhoods are closed off streets located in suburban areas. They’re a popular choice for families.
  • Walkable Neighborhoods: These are neighborhoods situated close to major cities but along the outskirts. They usually have a lot of restaurants, bars, gyms, and other businesses that residents can walk to, and may also offer access to public transportation.
  • Rural: These are neighborhoods in more remote locations. Homes in these communities are usually more spaced out and come with larger lots of land, such as a few acres or more.
  • Gated Neighborhoods: Usually located in suburban areas. These have a gate at the front entrance to limit access allowed into the community. These neighborhoods sometimes have full- or part-time security staff, as well.

Using MLS to Look Online

Make sure you’re looking at data from a multiple listing service (MLS). An MLS is a private database of available homes for sale—compiled and managed by real estate professionals. Using MLS as opposed to other home finder tools will ensure the information listed is up to date and accurate.

Research Home History

  • How long (and how often) the home has been on the market?
  • Has the price changed since the seller listed the home?
  • What is the number of foreclosures in the area?
  • How much you can expect to pay in property taxes?
  • How many neighboring homes have recently sold?

House-Hunting Support From An Agent

House-hunting is a job in and of itself, that’s why it is important to have knowledgeable and friendly support through the process. We will guide you from search to success by sharing our expert insight into each home’s pricing and potential, negotiating a great deal and handling all the paperwork.

When all is said and done, you will feel confident knowing you made the decision that was right for you and your family.

House Hunting During The Pandemic

House Hunting During The Pandemic

Though there have been unexpected changes that have affected our every day lives and certainly the plans to find the home of your dreams, there are still many opportunities to continue working toward that goal and even some programs that may assist in making home ownership more attainable.

House hunting during a time when your area is shut down can have its benefits. There may be less competition for the houses in the areas where you might be planning to move, and sellers may be more motivated to sell or more flexible on price. We reccomend our clients begin their housing hunt virtually and take advantage of the extra time we have at home while sheltering in place to shop online more thoroughly; that extra effort may give you an advantage in finding a home you love within your price range. Once your area re-opens, there may be more house hunters back on the market and prices may escalate due to a more competitive market that benefits sellers rather than buyers.

When you do find the home of your dreams, you will want the seller to see you as a serious buyer. The best way to make this impression is to get pre-approved with a lender. We work directly with lenders who care and will support you in getting a Mortgage preapproval letter. Check your credit reports and get your credit score. Good credit, such as a FICO score of 620 or higher, will qualify you for a conventional mortgage and lower interest rate. Compile all the information your lender will need to start the mortgage preapproval process: identification and income information (W-2’s from the last 2 years, recent pay stubs, bank statements, etc). We can do all of this over the phone and online without the inconvenience of having to make numerous phone calls to various lending groups or knocking on business doors who may be subject to special working hours during this time.

When it is time to tour the home many seller’s agents are participating in virtual tours and social distancing tours as options. Keeping your health as a top priority, all of our associates wear facemasks and are practicing exceptional cleanliness during this time. Taking the guess work and inconvenience out of the home buyer process is just one small way we can make supporting our clients through these unprecedented times a little easier. Give us a call today for more information. Take care, God bless.