Guidelines for Finding the House of Your Dreams

by Joyce Powers 01/19/2020

Finding the house of your dreams is a process that requires a lot of clarity, diligence, and patience. While it is possible for the first house you look at to be the ideal choice, it's a lot more likely you'll have to look at a dozen or more houses before finding the one that matches your requirements and feels like home.

Whether you're searching for your first home or your tenth, your decision will primarily be based on four factors: affordability, practicality, emotional appeal, and prevailing market conditions.

Affordability is a vital element in the mix because it's difficult to enjoy a beautiful new home if you're always stressed out about whether you'll be able to make the next mortgage payment! Developing a realistic and well thought-out budget is one of the first preliminary steps involved in launching a full-fledged search for your next home. In addition to being able to cover your current expenses and the cost of mortgage payments, you'll also want to ensure that there's a cushion in your budget for things like home maintenance, repairs, improvements, HOA fees (if applicable), property taxes, school taxes, and homeowner's insurance.

As far as practicality goes, your new home should -- at the very least -- live up to your basic needs and expectations. Ideally, all systems should work properly and be in good condition. Proximity to key locations, such as your job, shopping, and essential services can also have a direct impact on your quality of life. Long commutes, cramped quarters, or being buried by an avalanche of repair bills can definitely take some of the pleasure out of home ownership!

The majority of houses you'll look at will probably need some degree of updating, decorating, or repairs, but ideally, you'll want to tackle those projects over the next couple of years, rather than the immediate future! Having an experienced home inspector do a thorough inspection of the home you're interested in will help ensure you're not buying a home riddled with flaws, headaches waiting to happen, and other problems.

Although cost and practicality are vital aspects of buying a new home, you can't (and wouldn't want to) ignore factors such as aesthetics and emotional appeal. If you can't imagine you and your family living in and enjoying a house you're considering buying, it might be time to continue your search elsewhere! The house you ultimately choose should support your lifestyle, provide sufficient space for your family to grow and thrive, and be situated in a neighborhood in which you feel comfortable and safe.

To make the most of your available time and money, find an experienced real estate agent who's responsive to your needs and knowledgeable about the local real estate market. They will help you streamline your search, find houses that meet your criteria and negotiate the best possible price on your behalf.

About the Author
Author

Joyce Powers

 After leaving a successful career in the financial industry, I did much soul-searching and found myself drawn to the real estate industry. When you consider that the most important investment most people make is their primary residence, I thought this would be a perfect second career for someone with my background.

I became a licensed NYS Realtor and I am currently a NYS Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker affiliated with KMS Realty Group and a member of the Staten Island Board of Realtors. I've also obtained the following Designations and Certifications: ABR (Accredited Buyer's Representative), CIPS (Certified International Property Specialist), CNE (Certified Negotiation Expert), CSSP(Certified Short Sale Professional), GREEN (National Association of Realtors GREEN Designation), SFR (Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource), SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist). Since 2010 I've been a Top Producer of the Staten Island Board of Realtors. I’ve also served on various committees at the Staten Island Board of Realtors, including the Grievance Committee and the Professional Standards Committee and I'm currently a Director of the Staten Island Board of Realtors.

As a professional full-time Realtor, I will guide you through one of the most important financial decisions you will make - whether it is buying or selling your home or investing in real estate properties. I will be by your side every step of the way.