January 1, 2018 | Barb Huntley
Your to-do list before house hunting is mostly likely twice as long as your list to Santa but that shouldn’t scare you away from the house hunting process. Making a list (and checking it twice) will ensure you have your ducks aligned when it comes to finding and purchasing a home.

1. Go Over Your Finances
Does your day dream of owning a home keep reoccurring? To make those dreams a reality you’ll first need to go over your finances. How much do you currently have saved? How much are you spending on housing now? Compare your current rental costs to a mortgage and see how much of a difference it will be. If you have not saved as much as need, set yourself a saving goal over the next few months or years. You’ll need to make sure you have money not only for the down payment but any additional expenses such as moving, furnishing, and repairs for a new home.

2. Research the Market
Do ample research before you get serious about buying a home. See how the real estate market is doing, and what the average price is for a 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom, and 4 bedroom home in your area. Look into price per square foot and how different locations will affect the prices. The more you know, the better you will be to make an informed decision when choosing the perfect home for yourself and family.

3. Determine Your Location
Owning a home isn’t only an investment but it is also a commitment to a location. Once you buy a home you will likely want to live in it for at least a few years, if not many years. Moving, decorating, furnishing and getting comfortable in your new place all take time, so it’s likely you’ll want to stay there awhile. Knowing that ahead of time stresses the importance of choosing a home in a location you find desirable. Research the community your home is in, schools around it, and nearby recreational facilities.

4. Determine What You Need 
Before you start house hunting know what you are “hunting” for. Are you looking to live in a condo, apartment or home? All have their have unique benefits and some downsides. A house will leave you in charge of all yard work, a condo will make you part of a home owners association (most likely); an apartment will leave you no yard – whether you find that positive or negative.
5. Save, Save, Save
Lastly, if your finances aren’t where you need them to be its time to get serious about saving. Go through all your monthly expenses and see what you can cut back on. How soon do you want to buy house? Are you willing to pick up an extra gig to have more income to save? There’s a variety of ways you can be saving and cutting back on expenses, determine which one is best for you and start saving!


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