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.
- 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.
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.