Before you launch a home search, it helps to prepare for the property buying journey as much as possible. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to get ready to find your dream house.

Now, let’s take a look at three tips to help you prep for a home search.

1. Establish Homebuying Criteria

If you know you want to buy a home, it generally is a good idea to define your ideal residence as well. That way, you can streamline your house search.

Consider where you want to reside. For example, if you work in the city, you may want to focus on houses in or near the city itself. On the other hand, if you plan to return to school, you may want to search for a home near top colleges and universities.

Think about what features you want in your ideal home, too. If you have always wanted to own a home that boasts a luxurious outdoor swimming pool, for instance, you can map out your home search accordingly. Or, if you want to purchase a residence that features a state-of-the-art kitchen, you can search for a home that offers this amenity.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

A mortgage typically is a must-have, regardless of where and when you search for a home. And if you enter the housing market with a mortgage at your disposal, you will know precisely how much you can spend on a residence.

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can be simple. If you meet with banks and credit unions in your area, you can review your options and select a mortgage that complements your finances.

If you have concerns about home financing, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Banks and credit unions employ courteous, diligent mortgage specialists who can respond to your home financing queries. As such, you can work with these specialists to gain the home financing insights you need to make the best-possible mortgage decision.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

As you get set to conduct a home search, there is no need to work alone. If you hire a real estate agent, you can collaborate with a homebuying expert who can take the guesswork out of finding and purchasing a house.

A real estate agent is happy to provide guidance throughout the homebuying journey. He or she can offer tips and recommendations to ensure you can find a terrific home at a price that matches your budget. Plus, a real estate agent will simplify the process of setting up home showings. Perhaps best of all, if you are uncertain about whether to submit an offer to purchase a home, a real estate agent is ready to provide insights to help you analyze all of your options.

Dedicate time and resources to prepare for the homebuying journey. By doing so, you can enter the housing market with the insights you need to succeed.

To sell your home, one of the essential things for you is to stage your home. While the price of your home is often dictated by the market and your own surroundings, the people who are going to buy your home ultimately need to have some attraction to it.

The question is- can you stage your home yourself, or do you need to leave the home staging to the professionals? Either way, you may need to spend a little bit of cash in order for the home staging to actually work well. 

Declutter

The first step in the home staging process is for you to declutter the home. Get rid of anything that’s taking up space, or making the home appear “junked up.” No one can picture themselves living in a cluttered home. 

Hire A Maid

If you’re doing the home staging yourself, one of the most important aspects of getting your home ready is making it clean. A maid service can provide that deep clean that you may not have time to do yourself. This service is definitely worth the investment to make your home presentable to potential buyers.

Professional Home Staging Is Pricey


Professional home staging can cost quite a bit, (we’re talking thousands of dollars.) You can do a lot yourself to stage your home. You don’t need to spend top dollar in order to have your home staged appropriately. Just know that homes that are staged correctly (whether professionally or by you) sell for more.

Staging Gives Buyers Vision

It may be hard for buyers to envision a room any other way than how you currently have it set up. People may not be able to picture a chair in the corner or a bed in a different position. You can play around with the furniture in your home to make the rooms look best. 

Add Some Paint

One of the easiest things that you can do to stage your home is to paint it. Even if you simply put a fresh coat on the doors, it can really add some appeal to the home. If you have the time, you should paint the rest of the home’s interior as well. Buyers are most attracted to neutral colors. If you have any rooms that are oddly colored, or looking rough due to age, some paint can really bring life into the home.  

Make Each Room Inviting

When potential buyers walk through the home, you don’t want them to simply skim the house without checking out each individual room. See what draws you into the room, whether it be lighting, a fireplace, or an ornament on the door. Any of these small touches can make a big difference when you stage your home.

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Photo by Olya Adamovich via Pixabay

You’ve decided to start the process of buying a home. Congratulations! Now it’s time to figure out how much money you have, and what you can afford. The goal is to avoid purchasing more home than you can afford, but those variables change. In September 2019, the average price of a new home was almost $363,000. As an average, that may sound a bit steep, especially if this is your very first home.

A home may be one of the largest purchases you make. That’s why it’s important to go in with a clear head and everything aligned. Here are a few tips on learning how to budget when you’re preparing to purchase a new home:

  • Start with the 25% rule

Your mortgage should not be more than 25% of your gross income each month.

  • Consider every source of income you have. That means if you have 2 paychecks each month, each one should be included. If you have side work, that should also be included. That will encompass your total monthly income.
  • Write down your monthly expenses and make sure you leave nothing out. That means your donations to charity, student loans, transportation/gas, movie night, coffee and everything else you spend on a monthly basis.
  • Once you have these figures, subtract the expenses from the income. That will help you determine the max you will be able to pay for your mortgage. It’s also important to have a place to set aside some money for repairs. As a homeowner, things happen.

Any existing debt you have should be eliminated if you can afford it. The lower your debt to income ratio when you start the process, the better off you will be. Additionally, you should save as much as you can for a potential down payment. Depending on the loan, that will be 10 to 20%.

The figures you come up with will give you a good idea of where you stand and is a good starting point for your initial meeting with a mortgage broker. It’s also a good idea to review the types of loans that you may qualify for and look at the requirements. That will give you a general idea of the amount of money you will need to come up with for a viable down payment.

Although things may seem complicated, once you get started, everything should fall into place. Your real estate agent or mortgage broker will be able to provide more insight once you get started. Take your time and don’t rush the process. It will be worth your while in the end.

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Oxford, MA:

This Single-Family in Oxford, MA recently sold for $377,000.
This is a Split Entry style home and features 7 total rooms, 2 full baths, 1 half bath, 3 bedrooms, 0.35 acres, and was sold by
Erika Creamer – RE/MAX Executive Realty

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