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House hunting can be an exciting time in a new buyer's life, but with all of the prospects Des Moines has to offer it can also get a bit overwhelming. What’s the best way to choose? Roll the dice, flip a coin, maybe ask a Magic-8 ball? Perhaps there’s a better way to ensure you’re getting the home that works for you and your lifestyle. Here are a few tips to narrow down your search.
First and foremost, you need to know the amount of money you’re able to spend on a house, so discuss your loan options with your lender and ask them for a preapproval letter stating your approved loan amount. Once you know your price range, you’ll be able to narrow down your search significantly. Not only will you have an understanding of what your monthly mortgage payment will be, you’ll also be more attractive to the sellers when you do choose a home to purchase.
Make a List
Ask yourself what it is you’re looking for in a new home. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want? Do you want an open layout, do you need a garage, a fenced yard? Consider this your wish list. Now break that wish list down into the items you want, the items you actually need, along with items that you would consider a deal breaker. When you share this list with your real estate agent, it gives them a better understanding of what you’re looking for which in the long run, will save you precious time and get you better results.
Narrow Down the Neighborhood
Keep in mind that the cosmetics and layout of a house can be changed but the neighborhood cannot, so be wise in choosing an area that you like. Explore different neighborhoods, talk to the residents, try the restaurants, shop at the grocery store – generally, just get a feel for the area. You can’t rely simply on photos online to choose the spot that is right for you, the neighborhood may be peaceful during the day and rowdy at night, or vice versa, so do your research to be sure this is where you want to call home.
While searching for a house online certainly has its perks, you do need to actually view the house in person prior to making an offer. When you view houses in person, be sure to snap a few photos and take some notes so you can remember each one along with their pros and cons. Look for items that could be deal breakers such as a cracked foundation or mold issues. Look for things that aren’t on your wish list but are an added bonus – perhaps you didn’t have a Jacuzzi tub on your list but the master bedroom has one. Take measurements of the rooms so you can compare them to the measurements of your furnishings. Jot down notes on the amount of storage the home has, whether there’s a sprinkler system, how new the appliances are, etc. These are all things that you’ll want to recall when comparing the homes you’ve seen to make your final decision.
Choosing a new home is a big decision and shouldn’t be made by the flip of a coin. It can seem a bit overwhelming, but once you are able to narrow down your search, it’ll be a breeze to determine the perfect home for you. Happy hunting!!