You have that feeling. You’re done with renting and ready to join the ranks of nearly 80 million other U.S. homeowners. So click your heels, repeat “There’s no place like home,” and off you go!
If only it were that easy. Finding the right home takes time, research, and guidance. Fortunately, working with an experienced local real estate agent helps the process move smoothly, getting you to that “no place like home” feeling a lot faster.
Know Your Needs
Taking on home ownership is exciting, but it’s also a big commitment that requires thought. Before you start your home search, consider what you need now and what you might need in the future.
Think about what features you must have in a home, and what things you prefer. Maybe it’s non-negotiable to live within walking distance of downtown. Or you would love to have an attached two-car garage, but it’s not a deal breaker. It’s helpful to create a “need list” and a “want list.” Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Style of the home
- Room layout
- Size of the yard
- Number of bedrooms
- Number of bathrooms
- Kitchen layout and appliances
- Energy source
There are many things that impact your home preferences, such as family needs. Consider your current or future spouse, children, and pets. If you’re married, you will likely need to compare your home preferences with your spouse. If you have children, home location will be impacted by school district. Pets also can influence things like the size of your yard or whether you want to be near a park or trails.
Other features might be a great bonus in your future home but are negotiable. You might prefer a basement but settle for a shed. A home office or craft room could provide additional defined space but might not be necessary. You might love a more modern exterior design but be content with something traditional if other features meet your needs.
Nearby amenities also are important. How long will your commute be to work? How close is the home to shopping areas? What other fun activities or entertainment are nearby? You might prefer to be close to the beach, parks, movie theaters, or concert venues. Perhaps it’s important that public transportation is easily accessible.
Determining your needs and wants will help you find a home in which you’ll be happy.
How To Find My Home In Charlottesville
You’ve dreamed up an image of the perfect house in your mind. Now you have to find the home!
Spend some time browsing listings on real estate websites. You can filter your search based on the features you prefer and discover new preferences that you want or need. Searching on a local real estate site will show you what’s available in that area and can provide ideas on neighborhoods where you would like to move.
Another important step is contacting a real estate agent. Real estate agents already have homes listed for sale and can quickly connect you with properties that match your preferences. A local real estate agent is an expert in their area. Our agents at Denise Ramey Real Estate are experts in the Charlottesville area and can help you find houses that meet your needs within your budget.
Finally, take a drive through some of the neighborhoods where you are interested in living. Check out the area and get a firsthand view of the properties. You might find homes for sale that you would not otherwise see or learn about amenities in the area that weren’t listed on a website. Visiting the neighborhood gives you a better experience than viewing the property online.
After doing some research and speaking to an agent, you’ve identified your next home. Great! Now what?
To move forward, there are a few things you’ll need to prepare:
- Credit score
- Hiring a real estate agent
- Down payment
- Shopping for a mortgage
Your credit score is important when it comes to getting a home loan. Different minimum credit scores must be met to secure different loans. Quicken Loans requires a minimum credit score of 580 for its FHA loans and 620 for a conventional loan. These minimum scores can vary depending on the lender.
Hiring a real estate agent
Buying a house, especially as a first-time homeowner, is a big decision! Avoid the headache of attempting to figure out the process on your own by working with a local real estate agent. Our agents at Denise Ramey Real Estate can help you secure a mortgage, turn your home preferences into home buying options, and walk you through every step of the home-buying process.
If you’re ready to buy a house, be sure you can come to the table with a solid down payment. The down payment is part of the overall purchase price that you pay up front. Making that investment shows lenders that you are less likely to default on your loan.
Different types of loans might require a different down payment amount, but typically it is good to budget 20% of the overall home price. Putting 20% down on your home can alleviate the need for private mortgage insurance. As of last year, the median down payment on a home was 12%.
Contact A Real Estate Agent To Help
If you’re ready to move into that perfect home, a real estate agent will be invaluable in your search. Yes, buying a home is exciting, but it’s also an intense process. A real estate agent can help your home buying process go smoothly so that you avoid potential headaches along the way.
The knowledge, connections, and expertise that a real estate agent with Denise Ramey Real Estate brings to the table are invaluable in your home search. Reach out to an estate agent with Denise Ramey Real Estate today, and get ready to discover the home of your dreams!