When looking for a new place to call home, it’s natural to feel emotional. You may be thinking about watching your kids grow up in a new house or reminiscing about the home where you grew up. It’s important that you not let emotions cloud your judgment when making a major decision, such as which house to buy.
You May Fall in Love With the Wrong House
Many buyers fall in love with a house instantly because it evokes a positive feeling or reminds them of a place where they lived in the past. It’s important to buy a house where you feel comfortable, but you shouldn’t let emotion completely guide your decision-making process. You also have to consider the layout and condition of the house; characteristics of the neighborhood; crime; safety; school quality; proximity to your job, stores, restaurants and entertainment; and the total cost of homeownership.
If you fall in love with a particular house, you may not want to look at others or you may expect others not to measure up and won’t give them the amount of consideration they deserve. You may overlook major problems with the house that you fell in love with or wind up with a dream home that you can’t afford.
You May Miss Out on a Good Deal
Some buyers want to get the best deal they possibly can. While negotiating the price is expected in many cases, focusing on a low price above all else can cause you to become too aggressive and pushy when negotiating. You may pass up a good deal in search of something better that doesn’t materialize.
How to Approach the Home-Buying Process
Before you begin looking at houses, figure out how much you can afford to spend. Don’t base that decision on the amount a lender pre-approved you for since the lender’s calculations may not have included important expenses, such as healthcare and childcare. Make a list of all your current bills and estimated costs for homeowners insurance, property taxes, maintenance, transportation and other expenses. That can help you figure out how much you can realistically afford. Set an upper limit on the amount you are willing to spend and stick to it.
Look at several houses. Even if you think you have found the perfect home early in your search, it may be a good idea to look at others so you don’t make a decision without seeing what else is out there.
Ask your real estate agent for his or her opinion about each house and carefully consider both the pros and cons. Your agent can give you objective advice and may point out things that you have not considered.