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There are a few things you should know before you get started searching for your new St. Louis home. Whether this is your first time buying a home or you’ve been through the process before, it’s equally important to get clear on these things before you start browsing through listings. Knowing these things in advance will save you time, and maybe money, but it will also make the homebuying experience less stressful. Here’s what you need to know:
The loan amount you were pre-approved for isn’t necessarily what you should spend. Knowing how much you can spend isn’t the same as knowing how much you should spend. Thinking about your monthly bills currently will give you a clearer picture of what you can actually afford. When you have an absolute maximum designated in advance, you won’t waste time looking at houses out of your range; which keeps you from being tempted to buy something that might put you in a tough financial position in the future.
Your Ideal Location
Know where you want to live. When you define your ideal areas, you make it easier for both yourself and your Realtor to begin the search. When you can focus your search on your top locations, you can avoid unnecessary viewings and time wasted. Come up with a list of locations, and then prioritize them.
What do you have to have in a home? Setting clear parameters will also help you in your search. These are the non-negotiables: Like number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, for example. Think about your plans for the next 5 years, and factor those into your must-haves. If your list is too long, though, it could complicate your search — so, it’s important to be realistic and stick to the essentials. Start with the things a home needs to have to work for you, and it will help you (and your agent) concentrate on the properties that are the best fit.
Your list of wants can be considerably longer than your list of needs. Designate the things that you’d love to have, but aren’t necessities. Then, when a listing ticks all the boxes for your must-haves, and also has some of your wants, you know it’s worth of your attention.
These are all simple things, but very important to know from the beginning. When you start your search in the right way, you’ll save time, and the search will be smoother and less stressful.