As a first-time homebuyer, you have probably been dreaming of the perfect house. From the size to the location, there are a lot of things to consider when you’re looking for your dream home.
Buying a house is an exciting time. Looking for just the right one will always come with important decisions as well.
From making your wish list to doing renovations, here is a round-up of seven home buying tips to help you find the perfect house in Spokane.
1. Make a Wish List
When it comes time to actually start looking at houses, you’ll want to be prepared with your must-haves list. Let’s say you have five children, for example. The number of bedrooms in a home will be important to you.
If you need to be in a certain Spokane school district, for example, the location will be one of your must-haves.
Making a wish list will also help your realtor weed out any houses that aren’t going to work. They can also show you houses with the potential to be your dream home if you’re willing to put any work in or renovate.
2. Set Your Budget
The budget is one of the biggest aspects of buying a home. While your dream home may look like a million dollars, it doesn’t mean it has to cost that much.
Before you start the home buying process, it is important you know where you stand financially. You’ll want to look over your income, your debts, and your expenses to get an estimate of what you can spend on a house.
You will also need to look at your savings and estimate how much you would like to put down on a house.
You’ll want to boost your credit score and lower your debt-to-income ratio as much as possible before you start working with a lender. Double down on saving as well.
If you are thinking about remodeling, consider how much you will keep aside for renovations. In some cases, you might build this into your mortgage and in others, you will pay in cash during the construction process or over time.
Find out what an estimated monthly mortgage could cost by using this mortgage calculator.
3. Get Pre-Approved
A pre-approval is when you apply for a mortgage before you find a home to make an offer on. When you are pre-approved your lender will run your credit and verify your income to give you an idea of what you may qualify for.
The Federal Trade Commission allows you to pull your credit report each year for free. It is a good idea to download your report if you haven’t already before contacting your lender so you can see what shape your credit is in.
Your credit score will play a big role in how much you qualify for and what your interest rate will be.
Once you have your pre-approval, you’ll be able to show potential buyers you are serious.
4. How to Find a Great Realtor in Spokane
With your pre-approval and must-have wish list in hand, you’ll want to get started with a local Spokane realtor as soon as possible.
A professional real estate agent will be able to send you homes that meet your requirements and take you to tour them. Buying a home with a realtor means you’re getting all of their expertise and experience in the Spokane market.
Your realtor can also help you narrow down your search, walk through renovations on properties, and help make sure you are getting as close to your dream home as possible within your budget.
5. Pick Your Dream Location in Spokane
Next to the house itself, the location of your dream home is vital. In the Spokane area, there are several great options that offer something for everyone.
Whether walkability, schools, access to your work, or nature is important to you, work with your realtor on narrowing your search down to a few of your favorite areas.
In terms of your investment, the location is sometimes even more important than the house. While you can add walls and replace kitchen cabinets, you can’t usually pick up and move a house to a new location.
Your location may also determine the size of your lot, how much property you will have, as well as your outdoor space.
6. Remodeling Can Get You the Perfect House
If you are having trouble finding everything on your wish list within your budget, a home that needs renovations may be your best bet.
By renovating a house, you’ll be able to make it perfect for you. Whether a house just needs a few updates or a total gut job, even a few minor tweaks can make it your dream home.
From updating the kitchen to adding on to a home, if you haven’t found the perfect one that is move-in ready, one of the best parts about renovating is that you get to make it your own.
Renovations and updates will also increase your resale value.
7. Make a Good Investment
It is also important to remember that the first time you buy a home is an emotional time. While you may get emotionally attached or discouraged at times, try and stay level headed and keep your eyes on the prize.
Remember that the perfect house in Spokane is also one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make.
First Time Home Buyer Tips
As a first-time homebuyer, you have likely been scouring the web looking at listings, watching home design shows, and making inspiration boards of what your perfect house will look like.
Keep in mind going in that not all houses will be completely perfect right away. Start to think about if you’re willing to do any work, what your must-haves are, and get your finances in order.
If you’re ready to kick off your search for the perfect house, get started here to get one step closer to your dream home.