How To Narrow Down Your Home Search
Are you looking for homes in Fresno and Clovis but you're struggling to narrow down a place to settle? In this video, I’m going to show you how we help our clients narrow down their search and find the best place to call home. We’ll find out how to factor price, location, and amenities into your decision so you can get everything you want and need.
Deciding Where To Settle
One of the hardest things about buying a home is deciding where you should settle. There are so many things to consider that it sometimes can seem overwhelming. Should I live close to my workplace? Does that even matter if I work from home? What about school ratings? Where am I going to get the biggest bang for my buck?
When you're buying a new house, it's really nothing more than the process of elimination, based on measuring your wants and needs and writing them down. We're going to show you how to start narrowing down what's most important to you.
The Process Of Elimination
Ultimately, there are three things you should consider when narrowing your search. Number one is price. What do you want your ideal monthly payment to be? If the price or monthly payment is within your comfort zone, then that is the price range you want to stick with.
Number two is location. How important is location to you? The last thing to consider is amenities. What kind of features do you absolutely need in a home? Something to remember when narrowing down your home search is that it’s extremely important to realize that no one gets all three—regardless of what your purchase price is going to be.
So get out a piece of paper and write down the three areas to consider: price, location, and amenities. You're going to rate these three in the order of importance. The goal of this exercise is to weigh what's most important to you soo you can separate your wants versus your needs.
Choosing Your Price
First, let's talk about price. What if you find a house at a great price and the neighborhood you want, but the interior is not as updated as you would like? Are you willing to update the home over time, or will it drive you nuts thinking about the changes that you want to make?
For some people, it's not a big deal if the property has good bones and has been well cared for. Additionally, there are options that your agent can talk to you about when considering how you're going to pay for those upgrades. Some upgrades may be smarter than others, so it's really important to have those conversations.
Alternatively, what if you decide to purchase a little over your budget by $20,000, but you get the house of your dreams in your most ideal location? I'd go for that, even if it means your payment might be $150 more each month. You could maybe scale back on your five times a week coffee at Starbucks habit or go out to dinner one less day per month to get the house of your dreams.
Your loan officer and your agent can help you figure out the best price range for your budget. Knowing where you want to be with your payment and price range will help you instantly rule out areas that you cannot afford in this seller's market. It may mean you need to look at homes listed $20,000 lower than your budget, as offers on homes are getting pushed up above asking in many cases.
All About Location
The next consideration is how important the location is to you. Do you want to sacrifice location to get the right house, or are the amenities of what you're buying more important? From our perspective, location may be the most important factor when buying real estate. Remember, location is also tied to schools, and school ratings play a big role in value.
Even the location of the home within the neighborhood could have a large impact on your home's future value. Make sure you talk with your agent about how location can affect a future sale. All those bells and whistles you love in a home may distract you from making a solid decision.
Let’s talk about number three: amenities. What amenities do you absolutely need in a home? Do you need to have that fourth bedroom and upgraded kitchen? If you must have a large backyard, would a neighborhood park change your mind about that? Or maybe you want a pool. Would a neighborhood with a community pool and clubhouse work for you instead?
Once again, it’s important to write out your needs and wants with your agent—especially when two or more people are making a buying decision. Whether it’s a husband and wife, daughter or son, this exercise will help everyone get on the same page and narrow down the search, allowing you to be successful when you go house hunting.
A Few Exceptions
Are there exceptions to this strategy? Of course, even when you write out your wants and needs and consider the factors of price and location. In our experience, some people still end up buying the complete opposite of what they initially wrote down on paper.
This exercise just really helps you narrow things down and find out what's really important to you. We have found that by listing your needs and your wants concerning location, price, and amenities, you will be able to find the home that is the best investment for you.
Getting Into Your Dream Home
We hope this video helps you start narrowing down your search when looking for a new home. We would be more than happy to help you with this process, so if you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out.
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