When you make the decision to purchase a home, you are taking the first step in the journey toward home ownership. You will encounter many more decisions in the weeks and months to come. One of your first steps should be to narrow down your house hunt. You need to choose which factors are most important to you in regard to your future home, and the criteria that you select will determine the direction of your search.
The first thing you need to think about is the location of your future home. Do you want to live in the country, the suburbs, or the city? If you wish to live in the city, there will be many different areas of the city – with different advantages and price points – from which you must choose.
Information about neighborhoods
You can get a lot of helpful information about particular neighborhoods from websites like Zillow and Trulia. These sites provide valuable information about the area, such as crime rates, availability of public transit, and comparable home sale prices. You can also get information about the local schools and their ratings. School information is important, regardless of whether you have children. The quality of the local schools is a major factor in the resale value of homes, which will be important to you years down the road when you are ready to move on.
Pay attention to trends
Trends in the real estate market in the area are also important indicators about the area. If homes in the area that you are looking at are selling very quickly or selling for above the listed asking price, then you know that the area is quite desirable. This is great news from a long-term point of view. If at all possible, you should consider checking out homes during the off-peak parts of the year for real estate. Most buyers want to move during the summer, so you will be faced with less competition to purchase a home if you can wait until the fall or winter months.
Expand your search criteria
Once you know the area where you want to look for a home, you can move on to other criteria. One of the mistakes that many buyers make when searching for a home is being too restrictive in their search criteria. Most buyers do a preliminary house search online, and then contact a real estate agent to show them the homes that have caught their interest. When you begin an online search, keep your options open by carefully selecting your search criteria. One way to do this is by expanding the area that you wish to search. Choose the area that you are interested in, plus a 10 mile radius around it. This way, you can find homes that may be out of the city limits, but are still within the school district that you desire. Don’t be overly strict in your desired price range, either. It is a good practice to expand your price range by 10% above and below your ideal range. You may find a home that is listed above your budget, but you can negotiate to purchase it at a price that you can afford.
Finally, be open to condos and co-ops. A detached home typically costs about 15-20% more than a condo of the same size in the same neighborhood. If you are buying for the first time or have a limited budget, choosing a condo can be a great way to get a home in the area that you love while keeping your costs down.
When you are ready to look for a home, contact Barrie and Area Real Estate. We are experts on Barrie real estate for sale, and we will guide you through your home search.