The right home for you to buy is one you love, can afford, and meets your needs. To help you find that right home and to avoid wasting time looking at properties you’ll never buy here are six questions to ask yourself to narrow your focus down to homes you’ll love.

What’s Your Budget? You don’t want to fall in love with a home you can’t afford. To avoid this, have us refer you to a mortgage loan officer and get pre-qualified for your home loan. The mortgage amount you qualify for, plus your down payment, will be your maximum purchase price. The loan officer can also tell you your monthly mortgage payment. This usually includes monthly payments for real estate taxes and homeowners’ insurance. If you’d like a smaller monthly payment, you can opt for a smaller mortgage, which will lower the price range of homes to consider. Some buyers are firm about the budget, but others decide to push it a little higher if a home has certain features.

What’s Your Ideal Location? Is it city, suburbs, or country? Would you like to live in an area with a neighborhood feel, or do you want some acreage? Do you want to be in a certain school district? Is it important to be close to shopping, restaurants, gyms, and other amenities? Is the commuting distance to work a consideration?

What’s Your Wish List? This includes all the things you’d like your new home to have. Build your wish list: location requirements; the number of bedrooms and bathrooms; kitchen and bathroom features; office and classroom space; layout preference; family, bonus, and media rooms; garage size; lot size and features; and special amenities, such as a pool or outdoor kitchen.

OK, Now Which Are the Deal-Breakers? Your wish list contains both things you’d like—“nice-to-haves”—and things you won’t compromise on—“have-to-haves.” These have-to-haves are the deal-breakers. Decide carefully on these, since you’ll immediately eliminate homes that lack them.

What’s Your Favorite Room? Really, where do you spend the majority of your time? This answer will steer you to a home you should feel particularly good about. If the kitchen is your favorite room, the home with the nicest kitchen is probably the right choice, even if the master bedroom isn’t spectacular.

How Long Will You Live There? If you’re going to live in your next home for a long time, you could take some things—a deck, a pool—off your wish list and make them future projects. Other items, such as location, school district, and lot size, might be more important since you’re making a long-term commitment to the area. On the other hand, if you plan to live in a new home for only a few years, you should look for one that will retain its value and you can easily resell when you’re ready to move. You also might consider giving up more unique wish list items that aren’t as likely to be important selling points to the average buyer.

Buying a home is an emotional decision but with practical consequences. Our goal is to help you make the right decision and to get you the best home at the best price.

Thinking of selling or buying a home? Please text, call, or email us if you’d like to find out about your best options today!