Feb 14, 2020
House hunting as a couple can be a lot of fun! It can also be crazy frustrating and discouraging – especially when you can’t find that “perfect home” you both agree on.
Most couples don't realize that they are looking for two completely different houses, so putting guidelines in place can help you narrow your options to a home that satisfies you both.
So what’s the trick? We've narrowed it down to these 4 tips to make your house search less stressful and a lot more successful.
Unless you’re a finance person, most people don’t enjoy talking about a budget. However, It’s better to run the numbers in advance and know what you can and can’t afford.
Nothing is worse than finding your dream home and then realizing you can’t possibly pay for it. Avoid that kind of discouragement and run the numbers now so your options are realistic.
When considering your budget, you should first consider your mortgage payment. This monthly payment will be based on several factors including your down payment and the interest rate you get approved for by your mortgage lender.
Next, remember to include other costs like property taxes, homeowner's insurance, utilities, and neighborhood association fees. These costs can add up, so it's important to put them into consideration when calculating how much you are comfortable spending each month on your housing expenses.
According to an article by the New York Times, you should aim to spend no more than 35 percent of your pretax income on mortgage, property tax and home insurance payments to avoid getting in over your head.
Lastly, it is important to calculate your down payment and closing costs so you know how much money you will need upfront when you do decide on a property.
If you need help, consider contacting a bank or mortgage broker to give you a better idea of how much you’ll qualify for and what the closing costs will be. They can also get you pre-approved for a loan, which will make you more competitive compared to other buyers when you want to make an offer on a home.
Once you have set your budget, each of you should write down a “must-have” list of key features for your dream home. You both may have different thoughts about what your new home should include, so it's best to communicate these with each other.
We recommend physically writing down your thoughts so you both can think through and identify your needs and priorities.
Once you have decided on a budget and a list of wants and needs, it’s time to sit down together and compare notes (maybe over a nice glass of wine!).
Unless you’re building a custom home, it’s unlikely you’ll find a home that has everything on your list. And even if you are building a brand new home, you’ll likely have to give up some things for the sake of your budget.
Talk about your shared vision for your home. Then, working together, put features and amenities in to 3 buckets: must have, nice to have, and must NOT have.
Knowing what is essential to both of you, what you can compromise on, and what's a deal breaker will make your search less stressful… and more successful.
Finally, with your list in hand, take it for a test drive.
Before engaging a REALTOR, take advantage of open houses or model homes to see what's on the market and how the options compare to the guidelines you've set for what you can afford and what features you think you should have in your dream home.
Remember, there is no perfect home (unless money is no object), so you will have to compromise. The key is to know what’s most important to you – and to your partner.
When you get serious about finding a home, you can book tours online of any home with SimpleShowing. Plus, when you buy with a SimpleShowing Agent, you will get a refund of $5,000 on average that you can put towards closings costs or even new furniture!
Find out more about the Buyer Refund Program and schedule tours online today by visiting SimpleShowing.com.