There’s no denying mortgage rates are higher now than they were last year. And if you’re thinking about buying a home, this may be top of mind for you. That’s because those higher rates impact how much it costs to borrow money for your home loan. As you set out to make a purchase this winter, you’ll need to be strategic so you can find a home that meets your needs and budget.
Once you have your pre-approval in hand, it’s time to start constructing a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves for your home search. Among the necessary items, include bedroom count, a location that is convenient to your workplace and other amenities (like public transportation), and a budget that fits your pre-approval loan amount. You may also want to consider the age and condition of a property, as well as any zoning laws or restrictions that govern it.
Here’s a great way to think about them before you begin:
- Must-Haves – If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle (examples: distance from work or loved ones, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, etc.).
- Nice-To-Haves – These are features that you’d love to have but can live without. Nice-To-Haves aren’t dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of the these, it’s a contender (examples: a second home office, a garage, etc.).
- Dream State – This is where you can really think big. Again, these aren’t features you’ll need, but if you find a home in your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it’s a clear winner (examples: farmhouse sink, multiple walk-in closets, etc.).
Your real estate advisor will be instrumental in helping you find the right balance between what you want and how much you can afford. They understand the market, neighborhood trends, and have plenty of experience dealing with buyers to help guide your decision-making process. By discussing your list with them, they’ll be able to narrow down realistic options for you and help you prioritize the features that are most important to you. They’ll also be able to point out any potential issues or flaws with properties that may not be obvious right away.
Ultimately, your real estate advisor is there to provide guidance and insight throughout the home-buying process, so take advantage of their expertise!
Putting together your list of necessary features for your next home might seem like a small task, but it’s a crucial first step on your homebuying journey today. If you’re ready to find a home that fits your needs, let’s connect.