There are four key search factors involved when buying a home, and even though this order may not match your personal priorities, their importance usually follows this order: LOCATION, PRICE, SIZE & TYPE, CONDITION.
#1 – LOCATION
Location is the most important factor… the one you can't change. Location affects everything from price to schools to commute time to safety to shopping and entertainment to medical care. You can't change your home's location once you have bought it so it is critical that you consider this factor closely.
#2 – PRICE
When you get pre-approved you will know how much you qualify to purchase. But don't rely solely on that number for a guide. Determine the highest monthly payment you feel comfortable with, factoring in budgeting for expenses beyond monthly mortgage, taxes and insurance payments. When the furnace needs replacing will you be able to cover it?
#3 – SIZE & TYPE
When determining how much space you need, also consider that while more space will give you more flexibility it will also mean higher utility and maintenance costs as well as higher property taxes. Also think ahead to cover your needs and how they will change for as long as you plan to live in the property.
#4 – CONDITION
Most homes have some defects. Some, like carpet and paint, are easily fixable… others may be deal breakers. Some major condition issues to look out for are… foundation and structure, power and heating, siding and roof, and odors which could indicate health and safety concerns such as mold, water damage or air pollution.
Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results – Minneapolis Buyer's Agent