How to Define Criteria for Your First Home

How to Define Criteria for Your First Home

So you want to buy your first house. You have found out that renting may actually be more expensive than the mortgage on a house. Great! Now it’s time to get out and start looking, but how do you know what to look at? Most people have some idea of what they want to buy, but can’t put it into words very easily, which in turn makes it pretty difficult to actually search for that house. This post will help you decide what you are looking for in a new home, and give you a few tips about actually looking for that dream house.

 

Write down the things that you like and dislike about the house you’re currently renting/living in. You want to pay attention to things like:
 

  • Floor plan – Are the bedrooms at one end of the house, and the living space at the other? Is the master bedroom on the other end of the house from the other two rooms? Are there stairs?
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  • Kitchen layout and quality – Granite counter tops, nice cabinets, is there a pantry? Is a window important to you in the kitchen?
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  • Size – How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you currently have? Is that big enough? Too big? How big is the kitchen/living room/etc.
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  • Garage – Is a garage or shop important for you?
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  • Front and back yards – Do you need a place for your dog, or do you want horses? Fencing is important, as is the size of the yards. Do want a porch?
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  • In town or rural – Do you want to live in the city or out in the country? How much land do you want, and how far from town, or the nearest hospital? How close do you want your neighbors?
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  • Area – Do you want to avoid certain areas or cities in your area? Are certain areas particularly appealing to you? Do you want a creek? Part of a river, or lake?
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  • Age – How old is the home you’re currently living in? Do you want a newer home, or are you not concerned with that?
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  • Style of home – Do you want a cookie-cutter style home in a neighborhood, or do you want a manufactured home out on some acreage in the country?
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  • Price – How much are you qualified for, and how much of a payment can you afford? Add $20,000 – $30,000 on the top end so that you don’t miss something that you might be able to come in lower, or stretch to make the perfect home work.
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  • Kids – Do you have kids? Or are you planning on having them? Think about the safety of the area, and the property.

 
These are just examples of the things you want to think about when defining your criteria in looking for a home. You should have a sit down meeting with your real estate agent, and just talk about the perfect home, take notes and evaluate your current situation to define what you like and what you don’t like.
 
One last thing to keep in mind, is that while it’s possible, it’s not very likely that you will find a property with EVERYTHING you are looking for, so you should rate your criteria, and be clear about which qualities you HAVE TO HAVE, and which ones you are willing to give up in the right situation. Contact me to set up a custom home search so you have the best chances of finding a property with the most desirable characteristics.

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