TEN THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN LOOKING TO BUY A HOME:

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10. Location, location, location.  Once you’ve decided on a general geographic location for your new home, you’ll probably look at things like the schools, distance to work, family and friends.  But take a deeper look at other location factors that are important to you.  For example, you might want to look at neighborhood conveniences; such as, parks, shopping, whether it’s a busy or quiet neighborhood, etc. Whatever’s important to you should be a consideration is selecting the location.

9. What’s the MINIMUM amount of square footage you want/need in your new home? I think it’s funny that we don’t say “I don’t care what the square footage is as long as it’s not over XXXX square feet.” I guess we think bigger is better, but not always.  Do you have a growing family, are you down sizing, or maybe you’re just starting out.  Sometimes it’s more about the floor plan than it is about square footage.  Although square footage can be important, the next item is more important.

8. What’s the MINIMUM number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need in your new home?  Most of the time, if you need 3 bedrooms, but you fall in love with a 4 bedroom, it’s not a problem.  We can always find a purpose for an additional room, but how many bedrooms and bathrooms must you have is the real question.  Know your minimum; you can always go up from there.

7. What features MUST you have in your new home?  For example: air conditioning, a pool, 4-car garage, gated community, etc?  Here are some of today’s most popular features.

6. What features would be a BONUS to have in your new home?  For example: a fireplace, wine cellar, bonus room, home office, gourmet kitchen, etc?

5. What features DON’T you want in your new home?  For example:  a pool, zero lot line, acreage, next to the freeway, an outdated kitchen, etc?

4. Are you looking for a “TURN KEY” home, a home that’s needs a little TLC, or for a FIXER UPPER?  Sometime the budget dictates which kind of house we select and other times it’s a choice.  Either you like being handy, being involved in making the choices, or you just want to move in and enjoy.

3. Are you INTERESTED in an established or new neighborhood?  Landscaping is a key issue.  Established neighborhoods have grown trees and typically, these homes have front and back yard landscaping.  Whether or not you want to leave it or change it is up to you.  With new construction, you’ll need to landscape at least the backyard (Front yard landscaping is sometimes included).  But depending on the size of the lot, plus your needs and desires, it can cost thousands to landscape a backyard.  So be sure to figure this into your calculations.

2. How much home can you AFFORD? Let’s say the home cost $700,000 and you have $200,000 down payment.  $700,000 – $200,000 = $500,000 to finance.  Take the loan amount of $500,000 and multiply it by .07 interest rate (a rounded up guesstimate)That equates to $35,000 in interest per year. Divide that by twelve, and you’ll get your monthly INTEREST-ONLY payment of roughly $2,900.00 Divide the principal amount ($500,000) by how many payments the loan has, which is 360 (360 months= 30 years) = roughly $1,400.  Now add the INTEREST ($2,900) to the PRINCIPLE ($1,400) to get your monthly mortgage payment of $4,300 per month, plus taxes.

1. Buying a home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make.  It’s an emotional purchase.  Buy a home that meets your needs and desires, and one that makes you feel good.

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