Finding that perfect house is an exciting adventure, but one that can be fraught with difficulties.
Open houses can be fun, but once you’ve been to a few, you might soon feel like the decision’s impossible. One house has great character but a tiny kitchen, while the other’s huge but with dark rooms.
Sometimes, picking the right house can feel like choosing which of your kids is your favorite.
Happily, though, it doesn’t have to be so hard. Know what to look for, follow our 10-step guide, and you’ll be picking up the keys to your perfect house in no time.
Fix Your Budget
You might have grand ideas for that dream home but, unfortunately, the bottom line will always be cold, hard cash.
You don’t want to overstretch yourself and land yourself in heaps of debt. After all, if you’re working all the hours, you’re not going to get time to sit back and enjoy your home.
Instead, be practical and sensible. Do your sums and work out how much money you’re playing with. Get a valuation of your current house, or find out how much of a mortgage you’re able to get.
Then, stick rigidly to your budget. It can be hard to stick to your guns, but you’ll thank yourself later.
Make a Must-Haves List
There are certain things that are essential to you in a house, and only you know what they are. You want your must-haves firmly in mind, so write them down on a sheet of paper.
You might insist on a big bedroom, a kitchen island, or a garage for your extreme couponing addiction.
Whatever your wishlist, make sure it’s realistic (no luxury swimming pool on a $50,000 budget, please). Now you’ll have something to compare each potential house to, so you can pick the perfect one.
Be Willing to Compromise
It may not be our favorite word, but if you’re willing to compromise, it’ll be easier to find your perfect house, fast.
Even if you’ve got a $30 million budget, it’s unlikely you’ll find a home that ticks every single box on your wishlist, unless you build it yourself.
Instead, try and see past the imperfections.
Maybe the bedroom is smaller than you’d hoped for, but can you use built-in closets to maximise space? Or maybe, just maybe, you could donate some of your couponing haul (gasp!) if there’s only a single garage, not a double.
Look Beyond the Here and Now
Moving’s expensive! If you try and find something you’ll be happy in for at least 5 years, you’ll save money right away.
If the market’s right when you come to sell, you could even end up making money.
A house in a good area is always more valuable than a great house in a bad neighborhood, so that’s one to keep in mind for the future you.
Remodel If You Can
It’s true, the thought of knocking down walls and ripping out doors can be daunting, especially when you haven’t even bought the place yet.
If you have the stomach for it, though, a good rule to live by is to buy the worst house on the street and straighten it up. It’s even possible to remodel on a budget.
This way, you’ll not only bag a bargain, but you’ll end up creating exactly the home you want, too.
Look at Old Houses
New houses can be pretty great, with their fresh paint and sparkling floors. But remember, you’ll be paying top dollar for the privilege.
Older houses should definitely be on your radar as well. They have character and nice features that can add interest to your home. Some old houses have larger rooms and more space than new-builds.
Another pro of a ‘used’ house is, you might benefit from a previous owner’s home improvements. That large basement for your man cave, or the attic conversion for your luxury bedroom suite? You may find an old house has those things built in already.
Leave Room to Grow Your Family
When you’re shopping for your perfect house, you might be young, free and single, or you might be a newly-wed couple, looking to set up your nest.
That’s all fine, but when you meet that special someone, or you start growing a human, you’re going to hit a snag.
Of course, if you’re downsizing your home and know for certain you’re looking for a smaller pad, then you’ll be fine.
But if your life is still working itself out, you’ll want to allow room for that to happen. Don’t limit yourself by buying small, and having to move in a year or so.
Pick the Style of Home You Like
We all have our preferences when it comes to what a home looks like, so pick something you’re going to love.
Perhaps you’re looking for a brownstone apartment, or maybe a townhouse is more your style.
Whatever your taste, if you choose a home you like the look of, especially inside, you won’t spend the rest of your life wondering if the grass is greener somewhere else.
Research the Neighborhood
Location is the most important factor when it comes to buying houses. Don’t fall into the trap of losing your heart to a home, only to find out that you can’t stand the neighborhood.
Instead, do your research first. If you’ve got kids, check out the local schools’ ratings. Look out the crime rate figures for the area. Another tip is to see what the locals think.
Go With Your Heart
It’s true that, in the end, you have to buy a home based on your budget. But if your perfect house is within your grasp, don’t give it up just because something else is cheaper. You’ll probably end up regretting that decision forever.
Your home is going to be your sanctuary, so if you get that ‘feeling’ (and when you find the perfect house, you’ll know the feeling we mean), don’t let it go.
Picture your furniture in a home, see yourself living there. If the logic works, and your heart’s there too, then you’ve probably found the ‘one’.
Choosing Your Perfect House
In a world of online marketing and ample real estate to choose from, finding the home that’s right for you can seem overwhelming.
With our 10-tip guide, though, there’s no need to feel intimidated. Set your budget, know what you’re looking for, and see the bigger picture. You’ll be signing on the dotted line in no time, and we’ll be over for a glass of champagne.
Ready to find your dream home in Georgia? Contact us to find out how we can help.