“This post is sponsored by Homes.com; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.”
WE BOUGHT A NEW HOUSE!!
This week we moved into a new home, and are so excited to buy our third home together. We needed some more space and wanted to move into a better school district. We are all so thankful for this beautiful new home. I have already painted a few rooms, and started decorating, but will be sharing more over the next few months as I make this house a home.
Buying A Home
We have learned so many lessons from buying our previous homes that have made the process so much easier this time around. So, if you are looking to purchase now or in the future, these tips will be so valuable.
1. Get Pre-approved.
Don’t start looking until you know how much you can afford, many times this leads to more stress, and disappointment. Also, if there are any problems with your credit you will know before starting the process. Figure out exactly how much you can afford. My personal advice is do not go up to the top of the amount that you are pre-approved for, this tends to make things way too tight on a monthly basis. Do your budget, and figure out exactly how much you can truly afford.
When looking for houses, I would sometimes increase the amount on Homes.com to see what a home would look like if I went to the top of our budget. This isn’t a great idea. Of course, a more expensive home tends to be more beautiful. Little did I know, that an amazing home was going to come on the market that was affordable, and provided us with more space than the others I was considering. One of my favorite features of this home are two living spaces. We have a living room, and a family room which is perfect for our family of 5. I am truly in love with this home, and we aren’t even close to unpacked. So, be patient and wait for the amazing home that fits your family, and your budget.
2. Make a list.
Start to make a list of things that you desire in a home. I always had a “wants” and “needs” list. So, for our new home we “needed” more bathrooms, but I “wanted” an upstairs laundry room. “Wants” aren’t deal breakers, but would still be a great addition if you could find it in your price range.
Also, figure out what you are willing to do or not do. For instance, I am not willing to remodel a home. Not with three kids. However, I am willing to do cosmetic updates. Our new home has two purple bathrooms that are pretty unattractive, and our master bedroom is the worst shade of teal. When I saw this house, I could easily see past those things to picture, what I could do to this space. So, I encourage you to make sure you are very clear on what you are looking for before you start to maximize your time, and make your search more productive.
Homes.com Match is your personalized house hunting tool. You can easily decide what is a must have or just nice to have. You can even give every home in your results a personal score!
3. Find a good realtor.
Finding a good realtor makes all the difference in the home buying process. If you are moving locally, I always recommend word of mouth, and doing some research on your own. Homes.com can easily connect you with a real estate professional in your area.
My sister, Twila Glenn is a very successful real estate agent, here in Pennsylvania so it was a simple decision for us. She went above and beyond in every way, and made the entire home buying process incredibly simple. This is definitely something to look for in a good agent. Reviews are always a good source as well.
Once you start to scheduling showings, try to book them all on one day rather than spreading them out. Saturdays and Sundays are great for this. That way you can go from house to house and compare the pros and cons easily.
I spent too much time on google, and trying to figure out the answers to many different questions rather than reaching out to my realtor throughout the home buying process. She was knowledgeable about the entire process, and it took less time.
4. Don’t wait until the last-minute.
Moving can be very stressful, and has been for us in the past. However, this time I decided to start packing early, and it was a game changer. You usually have about 30-60 days to pack up your home to move. We started months before even buying the house. It was a lot less stressful to pack a box or two every night then to have a super stressful weekend of throwing everything in a box. You are able to plan better, and stay organized along the way. Again, gradually getting things done off of your checklist, and starting early will make ALL the difference in enjoying the process. Referencing all of the tools that homes.com offers, and their checklist are very helpful.
5. Check those Taxes.
Taxes make all the difference. Most of us only care about our actual monthly payment, but our payments can change dramatically depending on your taxes. You can view two homes that are $300,000, but the taxes can make your payment a few hundred dollars higher. All the homes we looked at were in the same school district, but they still varied in taxes so, make sure you keep an eye on that before deciding if it’s worth even seeing the home.
6. Do your research on schools.
One of the reasons we moved was for the school districts. Our children currently go to a charter school for gifted kids, but it ends at 8th grade so as our oldest approaches high school, we thought it was best to move into the highest rated school district.
I truly believe that more than what school district we pick, our involvement as parents and what values we teach our children will be more connected to their success than anything else. My husband and I want the absolute best for our 3 boys, and look for ways to set them up for a bright future, but we do realize that the part we play at home will be the most important.
When we moved into our old house, we didn’t know much about the school district, and after we moved in started to hear some negative reports. This lead to us choosing a charter school. We wish we would have done a little bit of research on our own, and been able to compare the pros and cons of each school district prior to moving.
No matter what your budget is, choose to dream and enjoy the blessing of this process. Buying a home is a privilege so enjoy it. Every time we purchased a house, I decided to watch shows on buying homes, and look at decorating magazines even if I didn’t have the biggest budget at the time. You can truly turn any space into a beautiful place to live and enjoy if you put your mind to it.
One of the coolest features on homes.com is the Snap & Search feature. You simply take a photo of a home you like, upload it, and you will be able to view homes in your location that have the same architectural style. It’s amazing!
So, if you are looking enjoy the process, and I hope these tips will help you do that!