Home Buy

Tips to getting into your dream home

It's a dream we all have early - walking into our perfect home for the very first time. Searching for that dream house can sometimes seem overwhelming, so here are some tips to get you ready for a successful hunt:

Start Planning

The first step for finding your dream house is to know what it is. Many people go off searching for their perfect home without thinking about what they want and need - you end up looking at lots of properties and getting confused.

So sit down and talk about what you want. Do you want a pool? A place for her to do her painting? A basement where he can play 8-ball with the guys?

Develop a list of all the features you want in your dream house. Break the features down into must-haves (the things that are required), important wants (the things you really want but could live without if everything else is perfect), and things that would be nice (great features). Don't forget a list of no-no's, with the things you hate or refuse to have.

It might be a good idea to go to some open houses or builder's models, just to see some of the features that are available. This is a great way to get perspective on your possibilities. After doing this for a few weeks, you should start to get a strong opinion of what your dream house should be like.

Get Your Finances In Order

You want to make sure that financing isn't going to get in the way of getting the dream home you want, so start early. Get a copy of your credit report and make sure it's accurate. If there is any wrong information, get in touch with the credit reporting agency to correct the mistakes.

Meet with some loan officers from your local banks, as well as a few mortgage brokers. Check to see what types of financing programs are available. In particular, find out what loan fees there might be. Also while you are there, ask what kind of documentation and down payment requirements different loans might be.

Doing this will give you some good connections for when it's time to buy the property. Also, it will save you time later if you already know what you can afford based on your credit, income and down payment.

Do Your Homework

Check into prices and features for both resale homes and new builds. Dream homes can come in many forms. You might only be satisfied with building a home from scratch with a custom builder; or an existing home might fill your dreams perfectly, perhaps with just a bit of remodeling.

This is also a good time to check on neighborhoods you are interested in living. Is this a dream neighborhood to go with your dream home? Does it have the access to shopping, schools and transportation you want?

Build New or Buy Resale

After all of your homework, your dream home should be taking shape in your mind. It's time to make your decisions. Are you going to build, or buy an existing home? If you want to build, start checking out specific floor plans. Also, check on the reputations of builders for quality. Make sure you get a dependable builder who has reasonable prices.

If you are looking for resale homes, consider obtaining a buyer's agent. While not always needed, a good buyer's agent can save you hundreds of hours of searching by steering you to homes that most seem to fill your dreams. A good buyer's agent will also give you information on comparable properties and advice on how to negotiate your best deal when you find that perfect home.

Be Ready to Strike

Finally, when it is time, be ready to make a decision. Often when that perfect opportunity arises, people hesitate, only to find the property sold or the mortgage rates rise during the delay. When you find your dream, jump in!

Fortunately, if you follow these tips, you already have a strong idea of what makes your dream home. You also have your finances ready to go, so there's no reason to delay. Just follow this path and in a few steps you'll be buying the house you love - your dream home!

By Richard Evans