by: Diane Vespucci ~ Re/Max 100 Realty

You’ve been pre-approved and know your price range.

You know how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want in your new property or at least about how many and now it’s time to look for a home in your price range.

It’s not every day that you go home shopping and make decisions that will affect the next three to ten years of your life.

Since you can’t test drive a home, how do you decide? Here are a few things to keep in mind while you’re looking and deciding.

Write down your “must have” list. That includes the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, what kind of yard, location and other details that are absolute to you and those living in the home with you.

Next make a dream list. Once the must haves are done, what are the like-to’s? Granite counter tops? A pool? Fireplace? Know these things before you look and then be ready to compromise.

I said it. Compromise. If you really want a pool and a porch, but the house you like has everything but the porch, how important is that porch? No one can answer that – not the agent, not your best friend, no can answer that but you. Look for the perfect place and be willing to compromise.

Secondly, it’s important to evaluate the details of the home; details to include what obviously needs repair or replacement? How old is that roof?

Do the appliances need to replaced? These types of decisions will affect your financial bottom line and should be taken into consideration. It will have an effect, and may help you choose.

I saved it for third, but one of the most important questions for any home buyer to ask themselves is ‘What is my lifestyle? What lifestyle do I need?

What lifestyle do I want”? If you have kids, you may choose the school district as something of prime concern.

If you want to surf every day, or ride your bike on the beach, it’ll be important to be near the beach. Figure out what’s important to you.

This one questions brings lot of clarity to your search and easily clears out properties that don’t fit. And finally, before you buy look forward to the day sometime in the future when you’ll be selling this property.

You may not mind the train through the back yard, or being on a busy street, but about half of all buyers will mind it and that does affect your resale for those buyers.

Even with all this, I promise you, there will be things you’ll overlook that will bug you one day, and things you don’t notice you’ll fall in love with.

Don’t let that stop you from moving forward with your purchase. There is no place like home.