Sounds like a pretty easy, doesn’t it? However, you’d be surprised when you actually think about what you want that it might be a huge list. If you are married, then the list of your spouse might look different than your list.
How do you narrow down the list?
1. Top 5 must haves
Pick 5 features that are very important to you – if you have a spouse, each of you write down your top 5 requirements. Note them in sequence of importance. Number 1 and 2 should name your deal breakers; 3 and 4 are should haves and number 5 is important to have. Compare your list with that of your spouse and begin to merge your lists to one general top 5 list.
2. Choose your location
This could be a part of your TOP 5 list and for some it is very important and for some it’s not. If you know your town, you already have some specific ideas of where you want to be.
Consideration: School district
Since in Colorado Springs you do have a choice in program for students, as well as a lot of charter schools, it makes it so much easier to actually chose a home you like, though it might be in another school district. That can come particularly handy if the school district of your choice has high home prices, and the neighboring one is just a little less. All that, of course, is assuming that you have the time to take your student to the school and pick the student up afterwards as there is no bus service for out of district students and that your student will actually get into the school. (look at each districts choice windows)
Consideration: Office commute
This affects many people commuting in Denver, they generally want to be on the north end of Colorado Springs. Also a north/south commute is usually much easier than a west/east commute. Things to keep in mind.
Consideration: Home prices
Consideration: Home features
Consideration: Local activities
Most home buyers know how much they want to spend on a home purchase. Websites like Zillow have mortgage calculators on their website, but usually taxes and insurance are not included in these calculations. You can go to this calculator a mortgage payment, or you can always Google “mortgage calculator with taxes and insurance PITI”
Now you have a general idea of how much a home will cost you a month. It’s a great indicator. Your next step will be calling up a lender and get pre approved. It will not cost you anything and you should NOT pay for it. Some lenders ask for a fee and make it refundable when you finance your new home with them. I could not recommend that.
A lot of lenders let you get the process started online, which speeds things up. Please know, that just because you were approved by one lender does not mean that you have to stay with them and finance through them.
The pre approval helps you to know precisely where your spending limit needs to be and shows a seller that you are a serious buyer and will give your offer more power
4. Meet with a Realtor
Choose a realtor to discuss your wishes in regards to a new home.
I set up my buyers with website that displays only homes that adheres to the criteria that buyers have given me. There is no advertising, no frills, just homes and all the information you might need. The website also lets you make notes for future reference. You can “like” or “reject” a home. On a regular basis I will then review the notes and according to the notes discuss the options that are available to my buyer.