Making History: How to Make the Best Decision When House Hunting

House hunting can be a stressful process. It’s natural to question whether the house you’re interested in is the right one for your family. Trying to balance the location of a potential home, its condition, the size of the property, and the home’s price is one of the most difficult parts of becoming a homeowner. Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to make sure you’re making the best decision when shopping for your dream home.

Location, Location, Location

For most buyers, location will be a non-negotiable part of the home buying process. That makes sense because while you can change many things about a property, most houses can’t just be picked up and moved somewhere else. To start figuring out where your future home will be, you’ll want to make sure you’re only looking at homes within a reasonable distance of work. You’ll also want to check out your prospective neighborhood at different times of day to make sure you’ll be comfortable living in the area.

Fixer-Upper or Move-In Ready?

Some people like the idea of buying a home that needs work so they can immediately start increasing the value of their property. Others are searching for a house they can move into right away, without dealing with the hassle of repairs. Whether you’re searching for a handyman’s special or a fully updated home, you’ll want to make sure you get a home inspection. An inspector will be able to tell you things like whether the roof needs to be repaired soon, if the electrical is up to code, and if there are any foundation issues with the house. Knowing what kind of condition a home is in will help you decide whether or not you are interested in purchasing it.

How Much House Can You Afford?

The cost of single family homes can differ wildly, depending on a range of factors. Make sure to take the time to carefully consider the costs of home ownership before buying the biggest house you qualify for because your mortgage won’t be your only expense. You may also need to plan for property taxes, HOA fees, future repair, and mortgage and homeowner’s insurance. Taking out a mortgage for the house you can afford is the responsible decision to make when shopping for a home.

The home buying process doesn’t take forever. After you make your decision and sign the paperwork, it won’t be long before you get to enjoy living in your new home.

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Rachelle recommends looking into single family homes when house hunting. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber;