Guest post from Adam Slivka at Integrity Plus Realty

Buying a home is a very exciting time. Whether you are a first time home buyer or someone looking to purchase your forever home, there are things that every purchaser should be considering.

1. How much can you afford?

This is the most important question to answer prior to looking at a potential home. Having a clear picture of your financial health is imperative before venturing out into the market. Knowing what your budget will allow for will ensure you don’t stumble upon a dream home to be informed it is out of your price range.

The best way to understand what you can afford is to get pre-approved and speak with a Mortgage Advisor. At Homewise, we make that process simple. Just apply online in 5 minutes, then one of our Advisors will help provide your full financial picture (all for free). You can get started today here

2. Wants and needs

Narrowing down a list of wants and needs will save you time when searching for your next house. Non-negotiables such as number of bedrooms or bathrooms will quickly eliminate homes that won’t suit you and/or your family.

Having a list of must-haves will ensure you are only considering options that are realistic for your life. There may be things that you are willing to negotiate on, however, there is no point walking through houses that just don’t have the space, features or amenities you require.

3. Where?

Whether you are wanting to be close to work, schools or certain parts of town, knowing which area and neighborhoods you would like to live will drastically affect your search.

Figuring out what would best suit your needs will allow you to choose an area that is in line with your lifestyle.

School districts, parks, and work commutes are all things to be considered when making a list of areas that are options.

4. New home or fixer-upper?

We’ve all seen the shows where they take a house in shambles and within an hour-long episode transform it to the home of your dreams. While that may seem appealing to some, knowing how much time and money is involved in renovations is vitally important.

If you are wanting to undertake large renovations, having a list of projects and cost will aid in determining if you are able to complete the work required.

The idea of flipping a home will send some buyers running for the hills and if that is your reaction, looking at homes that are newly built or require no large renovations will be the best choice for you.

5. Consider your future

Knowing your 5, 10 or even 15-year plan will greatly aid when searching for your next home. Are you a single buyer? Young couple? Retirees? Depending on your answer, your needs and requirements for your next home will differ drastically.

While the future is always subject to change, having a general idea will help determine what your needs are and what type of house will fit into your plan.

Adam Slivka is a team leader at Integrity Plus Realty in Western Pennsylvania.