Shutterstock_206266147

From buying your first home to your last, it is easy to get so caught up in finding your 'dream home' that you lose sight of your reality.

Here are five important things to keep in mind when searching for your new home…

1. Know what you can afford

Be realistic about what price is affordable for you. Budget funds for other things you like to do as well so you don't feel house poor. Whether you like to travel, eat out, attend music or sporting events, enjoy collecting or a hobby… whatever you love to do, make a realistic budget that includes those things as well as your everyday housing and living expenses.

2. Find the location that is right for you

Do you need/want to be close to work, trails, public transportation, schools, family, parks, coffee shops, shopping, recreation, etc? Everyone has different needs and priorities. Be sure to keep yours in mind before you fall in love with a kitchen and buy in a location that you will come to regret.

3. Identify your non-negotiables

Most buyers find they must cross off some 'wants' to get their 'must-haves'. Identify your non-negotiable items, then don't even look at properties that don't include them.

4. Look for features that support your lifestyle

Both location and home amenities will have features that support your lifestyle. Think not only about your current lifestyle, but also if there are any changes you would like to make with your new home. Consider how you will actually live in the space and location. For instance, if you like to cook and entertain, the kitchen and entertaining space may be more important than a master suite… if you plan to bike to work you may sacrifice other amenities to be close to a bike trail.

5. See the potential

Don't get distracted by decor that doesn't match your taste. Things like paint colors and flooring can be changed fairly easily while basic structure and location cannot. If the floor plan and location fit you and your lifestyle, it may have the potential to become your dream home with a little redecorating.

Sharlene Hensrud, REM/MAX Results – EmailTwin Cities Buyer's Agent

RELATED POSTS

About Sharlene Hensrud

I love what I do! Highly insightful, analytical and creative, there is nothing I love more than helping you find the right solution for your real estate transition. My mission is to serve my clients with honesty and integrity, exceeding their expectations in service and support… and to help others by donating a portion of every transaction to Habitat for Humanity.

Related Posts

What will you miss the most if you move?

Spring is in the air… and along with the re-feathering  of bird's nests often come dreams of making a housing move. Especially with the tax credit soon coming to an end, many buyers are rushing to make a decision on a new home in the next few weeks. If you are buying a home, be careful.

Read More

How long should it last? Life expectancy of home components

Sellers should know that buyers often ask how long a furnace, roof, water heater, appliances, etc usually lasts… it’s a big help in factoring in upcoming costs when considering making an offer on a home. While actual longevity depends on many factors, including initial quality, maintenance, type of use, quality of installation and climate conditions, it is.

Read More

Walking to Lunds for jam

When I was showing condos near the east bank riverfront in downtown Minneapolis recently a woman rushed in to join us on the elevator clutching a jar of jam. We chatted with her and she said she had lived there about three years and loves it… loves the building, the people, the location, the views… not a.

Read More