Home Buying: Finding Out What Works for You

man holding keys to the house

Most of us probably have an idea of what our dream house should like. Some want a spacious master bedroom and a luxury kitchen, while others look for a property with a massive backyard or an outdoor living space. Dream houses are usually associated with words like biggest and grandest, but these “dream characteristics” don’t work for most of us in the real world.

Homebuying can all be sunshine and rainbows if the process only involves looking at potential homes or going to open houses. The sad part is, the process of finding the right home also requires looking at your situation, which includes your goals, needs, and budget. Being a homeowner is also a significant financial responsibility, so you need to be honest with what works for you.

Start with a budget or loan pre-approval

Tulsa mortgage lenders note that wise buyers start the process with a budget or getting a mortgage pre-approval. This determines the amount of loan you can borrow, depending on your financial situation. Just take note that your pre-approved loan amount is the absolute maximum of what you can borrow. It is advisable to set a budget below that figure so that you can avoid future financial hurdles.

Deciding between a fixer-upper and move-in-ready home

Buying a fixer-upper and turning it into your dream home can only be a smart move if you know what you’re doing or if you’re an expert at renovating houses. While this can be valued at a lower price, it will involve a lot of repairs and additional costs. The whole process of restoring the entire space and making it move-in ready can also take a few months or longer.

Move-in ready homes can cost more, but they don’t require a significant overhaul or longer waiting time to move into the house. Sticking with this type of property is also better if you know nothing about renovations and fixing homes. Also, most of these houses can be new or pre-owned and usually comes with lower maintenance costs.

hands over a house model

Type of property to buy

Your choice of property can depend on where you are buying or your preferred location. In most urban areas, duplexes, townhomes, and condominiums are popular and are usually a common choice for buyers who want a starter home. Some metropolitan areas also have single-family homes, but they are often more common in suburban areas.

For duplexes and condominiums, you have to take note that buying this kind of property means sharing walls with neighbors. If you value privacy a lot or are not comfortable with this set-up, a single-family house is probably the better choice for you or your family.

Starter home vs. forever home

When deciding between a starter and forever home, you have to consider your situation now, as well as your goals in the future. Your choice should feel right about where you are both financially and personally. If you, for instance, are settled with your job and don’t see yourself taking on a new career path in the future, a forever home can be a good choice.

If you, on the other hand, don’t have solid plans about the future and don’t have any idea where life is taking you, you might be better off with renting or buying a starter home. Your chosen home should support your situation, as well as the things you are looking to achieve.

The right home for you should suit your needs and wants, as well as your budget and goals. Doing some research and getting in touch with an agent or a reliable lender can help you make an informed decision.