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Find the perfect home with this handy home buying guide

While buying a new home is an exciting experience, it can also be challenging, especially for first-time buyers. With so many homes available for sale, it can be difficult to figure out which property best fits your lifestyle.

The key is to reevaluate your needs and preferences before you start looking for a home. Searching for an ideal home can be easier as long as you take the time to really think about what you’re really looking for in a home. As long as you keep your interests in mind throughout the home buying process, you’ll be able to find the right home for you and your family.

You can start by creating a list that includes must-have features – along with some features you’d simply like to have, but could do without – before you begin your search.

Here are several categories for you to consider:

Price

You need to know how much you can afford before shopping for a home.

To give you an idea of your housing budget, determine an amount you’re comfortable paying every month on your home. Next, use an online mortgage calculator (like this one from Zillow.com) to determine your purchase price.

Once you’ve calculated your maximum purchase price, get in touch with a lender and find out if you can be approved for the purchase price you’ve set, a process known as “pre-approval.” Getting a pre-approval from a lender increases your chances of getting your offer accepted once you find a home you like. It also helps you avoid wasting your time looking at homes you can’t afford.

Property type

Each property type comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Think about your requirements and preferences and what your daily routine is like, and see how the type of home you’re considering can integrate with your current lifestyle.

For example, if you want more privacy or are planning to grow your own garden, then a single-family home with a spacious backyard might be a better option than most condos or townhomes, which typically have limited yard space.

Size of the home

Another important factor to consider is the size of the home. Having a clear idea of how small or large of a property you’ll need will help you look for a home that matches your needs.

Start by thinking about how many bedrooms you will need. This is a key factor especially for those with children, or are expecting to have children in the near future. Think about whether your children can share a room, or if it’s better for them to have their own separate bedrooms. You may also want to consider having an extra bedroom for your guests, or if you might need some space in the future for your parents when they get older.

In addition, you will need to consider the size of the bedrooms. Larger bedrooms for example, will be more suitable for sharing between siblings compared to a smaller bedroom.

Location

One of the most important things you need to consider is when shopping for a home is its location. For example, if you have children, then you want to live in an area you can afford that’s within a good public school district. Additionally, you need to think about how your children will get to school – is the nearest school within waling distance, or will they need to take the bus?

Think about your own preferences, too. If you love exercising or spending time outdoors, then a home close to a community park will be perfect. Consider other factors as well, such as restaurants, services, and proximity of the home to your workplace.

If possible, drive around the area during different times of the day to experience the rush hour traffic or gauge the noise levels, and see if there’s anything about the neighborhood that you might not have noticed before.

Number of bathrooms

Will having a single bathroom in your house be sufficient, or will you need two or more? If you plan on inviting guests frequently, you may want to have an easily accessible half-bath on your first floor.

After you’ve determined the number of bathrooms you will need, think about the features you want included. Would you prefer a bathtub in each bathroom, or will you be fine with just a stand-alone shower? Do you need multiple sinks for your children so they won’t need to take turns getting ready for school every morning?

Looking for the best homes for sale in Tacoma, WA? Work with the top Pierce County realtors today by calling Lori Lewandowski at 253-617-5922.

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