It doesn’t matter if you are a young couple looking for your first home to grow into or a senior looking to downsize out of that house into a condo. No matter what the reason for deciding to buy, when we are looking for a home, we want to get the most bang for our buck. It may not mean we are going to indulge in some luxury home plans that need an army of House cleaners to keep clean. Size doesn’t always trump.
But we still will always want to feel at the end of the day that we bought a house that is not only a home, but that we drove a good bargain in the process. So how do you find a way to make sure that you are getting plenty of home for the dollars you spend? Even if you don’t want a big expensive house, you still want to be sure that you are paying the best possible price for what you buy. Here are some tips for buying the most house for your dollar, and getting the best bargain you can when you go house hunting.
Know Your Budget and Stick to It
There is no feeling worse then moving into a house that is more then you could afford, and realizing it after the deal is done. It is usually because you fell in love with some aspect of it and decided to just ignore the budget you knew was your limitation for buying. There is no greater peril to getting the right price on the home you want then to fall in love with it before you buy it. Like sharks in the water smelling blood, a realtor can smell when you have put reason on the shelf and decided you just have to have this particular piece of real estate.
Keep your budget firmly in mind when looking at homes. In fact, don’t fall for that old trick of letting your realtor show you a home you know is outside of the range of your budget, just to show you how much more you can get for a little more money. They are upselling you because they work on commission, and don’t forget it. Just stick to the homes you know you can afford and let someone else take a look at that overpriced monster your realtor just happens to know about and would love to sell you.
Make List of Must Have Features
Everyone has that lists in their head of what their next home absolutely will have to have. It might be a bigger kitchen or it might be another bedroom. Whatever your needs are, write them down before you even start to look.
Better yet, share them with your realtor, along with a copy of how much your bank has pre-approved for your loan. These two pieces of paper will tell your realtor what you can and cannot see, and hopefully allow them to make up a list of homes on the market that fit your criteria. This is the best place to start your search.
Create a Backup Plan
As the Rolling Stones said, “we don’t always get what we want.” Nothing could be more true than when looking at real estate. So, keep in mind that you aren’t going to get all the features on your list and be prepared for a backup plan of what you can live without.
If the backyard is not negotiable for your house full of rambunctious kids, maybe the big kitchen can be created later. Make your plan, have a B plan and stick to as many of the items as you can. But most of all, be flexible. This will help you to get most of the way there. Happy hunting and enjoy the chase as much as the end result.