10 Things to Keep in Mind When Shopping for a Home

Buying a home is a tedious experience regardless of whether or not you’re an old pro or a first-time home buyer. It’s easy to make mistakes and overlook important details throughout the home buying process. Here are 10 things to keep in mind when shopping for a home:

1. The most important thing to think about before buying home is the location of the home. This is the one thing about the home you’ll never be able to change, so you need to make sure you’re happy with the area.

2. You should never have to put more than 28% of your monthly income toward a home. If you are, it’s a guaranteed recipe for disaster.

3. Size matters. If there are only going to be one or two people living in the home, you don’t want something too big.

4. Don’t commit your family to a small home if you have kids or are planning to have a big family.

5. It’s fun to dream about what a run down home has the potential to be, but it’s not a good idea to buy a fixer upper if you’re not sure you’ll have the time or money to take on the project.

6. Protect yourself. Don’t sign anything until you’re 100% sure of what you’re getting into.

7. Get a realtor you can trust. A realtor who keeps steering you toward homes out of your budget should be replaced.

8. Consider haggling. It’s not guaranteed to work, but it also can’t hurt. You may just find yourself in a nice home for a low price.

9. Consider buying a foreclosed home. You can get a great deal on a home this way.

10. Listen to your instincts. Don’t make a commitment to buying a home if something just doesn’t seem right.

Bonus – Shop around for lenders. Don’t settle on the first lender that approves you. You may be knocking yourself out of a good interest rate if you do.