The process of buying a home for the first time in Denver, or anywhere in Colorado, really, can be exciting and stressful. Often times, first time home buyers find themselves overwhelmed with choices, and information as they begin their house hunt. This is okay, in fact, it’s perfectly normal, but you can reduce the home buying stress by asking yourself four simple questions before you even begin your hunt.
4 Questions to Ask when Buying a Home
- What Can I Afford?
Figuring out how much you can ideally afford, before heading into the housing market can be really helpful for first time buyers. Many first time home buyers are fairly limited in knowledge of what home ownership costs. Experts often advise those looking at home ownership for the first time, to sit down and figure out there budget. Take your monthly bills and tally them up (including what you put away for savings), exclude what you pay in rent. What you have left is what you can afford in mortgage and home ownership costs.
It’s always a good idea to sit down with a mortgage broker and discuss your numbers, too. Getting per-approved for a mortgage gives you a good jumping off point when you begin looking at homes. You’d rather know what you can afford ahead of time, so you don’t end up falling in love with a home that your budget simply doesn’t jive with.
- What is my Lifestyle Really like?
When you buy a home, you lock yourself into that location for a set amount of time. Because of this, you really need to like where you live. The home’s decor can be changed, but you can’t pick it up and plunk it down in a different neighborhood. Before you begin looking at homes, seriously think about your lifestyle. If you are a single couple who loves hitting the town for nights out, you’ll probably want to look in downtown Denver, and neighborhoods within that area. These areas have plenty to do and the hustle and bustle often jives well with young, active couples. If you consider yourself a homebody who likes to hunker down next to the fire, or if you are planning to start a family, you’ll likely want to look at houses in more suburban areas with high-rated school systems.
- What Do I Really Need?
Prioritizing what you need and what you want out of a home is also an important first step in buying your first place. Yes, granite counter tops are wonderful, and five-bedrooms might be ideal for your growing family, perhaps you like the idea of new construction. While all of those things can be found, the price point may be too rich for your blood. In order to have a fun and enjoyable home hunting experience, it’s important to prioritize what you really need out of a home, and the things you’d like to have, but aren’t necessary for your day-to-day comfort. By doing this, you’ll figure out what is a deal breaker in homes, and what quirks can be worked around when buying a home. Not only will this make your search more successful, but it’ll help your real estate agent work more efficiently and effectively for you.
- What Should I Look for in a Real Estate Agent?
What can make or break the home buying process, especially first time home buyers is the real estate agent. When you’ve figured out what lifestyle you are looking for, and narrowed down the neighborhoods you are considering, ask friends and family for real estate agent recommendations. You’ll want to look for an agent who has good knowledge of the area or areas you are interested in living in. A real estate agent that is well acquainted with your preferred neighborhood usually has insider information, and can help you easily find the home of your dreams. They can also give you information about the neighborhood if you aren’t well acquainted.
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