Home Buying Resources You Need to Know

Dated: 12/05/2019

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Scrolling through online listing photos, scouting for the best neighborhoods, and thinking of decor for your new home in Stuart FL can be both exciting and stressful for first-time home buyers. 

 Home Buying Resources Stuart FL home

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you'll make, and it can be a pleasant experience if you have access to the best tools. 

Fortunately, there are many resources available to offer assistance. 

Here are the top resources you should use to make home-buying easy and convenient. 

1. A Wants vs. Needs Checklist

Home Buying Resources - Wishlist

Once you've decided to purchase a home, it is important to know what to look for in choosing the right home. Creating a checklist will make it easier to know what you want. 

You want to make sure that you buy the right home for sale in Stuart FL. Between the home itself, the location, the budget, the financing, there are many things to consider. This makes the home buying process a balancing act. 

To make things more difficult, homebuying is actually more of an emotional experience. The decision to buy involves the head and the heart, but surprisingly, many home buyers are influenced by emotion and aesthetic. 

Many buyers have bought homes simply because they "really liked it". Others bought homes because they like the lifestyle the home offers. Some say it's because they were impressed by what they saw.

Emotional buying can be avoided by creating a simple checklist of needs vs wants. When you understand your needs and wants, you'll be able to prioritize and buy a home that fulfills your needs. 

Why should you make a list of needs vs wants?

  • To save time. When you know what you want, you won't waste time looking at houses that don't suit your requirements.

  • To be more objective. You want your home purchase to be based on your needs, not on your emotions. 

  • To stay in the budget. One of the dangers of emotional purchasing is you may fall in love with a home that is way beyond your budget. This is difficult and can only end up in two situations. One,  you go ahead and buy the home regardless of the stretch it will cause in your budget, and two - you don't buy the home but you are left frustrated and disappointed because you really liked the home. 

  • To make informed decisions and act quickly. If you've sat down and listed down your needs versus wants, you'll see it when the right home comes along. You can then act quickly and make an offer. 

  • To be on the same page with your partner or family. If you have a partner, or you have a family, listing everyone's needs and wants is necessary for a smooth relationship. You don't want the house to be all about you. You also want your companion and other family members to live comfortably in your new home. 

What are Needs?

Different people have different requirements. Be that as it may, there are things every home buyer requires MUST BE in the home. These things are needs. 

Needs are items or necessities that must be in the house you are buying. These requirements cannot be compromised. Needs are necessary for daily living, so don't purchase a home that doesn’t comply with these needs. 

Some needs include:

  • Square footage
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Backyard space
  • Easy access to the home

What are Wants?

A want is something that's nice to have. In homebuying, a want is something you'd like to see in the house, but if the house meets your other conditions, you can still buy it. Basically, you can live in a home that doesn't have all your wants, but you cannot live in a house that doesn’t have your needs. 

Some samples of needs include:

  • granite countertop
  • hardwood floor ( or some other floor types)
  • new doors and windows
  • swimming pool
  • deck
  • nearby facilities

It can be difficult to find a house that has everything on your want list. The good thing is you can always modify your list, removing features and amenities you like and adding the ones you like. 

Factors to consider before making a needs vs wants checklist

1. Budget and Financing

Home Buying Resources - Budget

Your budget is a key factor in your decision. It determines the kind of home you'll get, the number of bedrooms the house will have, the square footage of the house, etc. 

You need to know what you can afford. You have to consider not just the monthly mortgage payments and the down payment, you also have to pay for home insurance, a home warranty, maintenance expenses, HOA fees, and more. Calculate your monthly income to see what you can afford to pay for your possible monthly mortgage.

This means getting a pre-qualification and pre-approval. Getting pre-qualified means supplying the lender with your financial information like debt, income, and assets. The lender reviews everything and gives you an estimate of how much you can borrow. 

Getting pre-approved means supplying the lender with your financial background, current credit rating, and other necessary financial info, which they will then review. If you pass, the lender can pre-approve you for a mortgage up to a certain amount. 

2. Location

When you know how much home you can afford, it is time to find the new home you'd like to purchase. Use your wants vs needs requirements to narrow down your search. 

Is proximity to the workplace a need for you? Your home's location should be easily accessible. 

How about school? If you have children, you'd want to consider if there are good schools near the home. 

Do you enjoy dining out and meeting friends? Perhaps a home near amenities is the right choice for you. 

The location of your house is very important. and it's an important factor when creating a need vs want list. 

3. Size of the house 

When you're buying a home, you need to buy depending on the size of your family. The bigger your family, the bigger the home. 

Evaluate where you are currently residing and find out what you like and hate most about your current place. Is it the size, or the shape, or the layout? If you find out the things you don’t like, make sure that the new home you’ll be getting won’t have the same problem. 

2. A Mortgage Payment Calculator

 Home Buying Resources - Mortgage Calcultor

As a first-time homebuyer, you may not be aware of how much monthly payment you'll have to make when you buy the house. With a monthly payment calculator, you can simply enter the size of the mortgage you have (purchase price minus downpayment), the interest rate, and the amortization period, and you'll see how much you'll possibly pay monthly. You can also play around the figures, adding or deducting the amount which will significantly affect your monthly payment. 

Mortgage calculators are also good for showing how payments change based on your payments. You can choose to pay weekly, bi-monthly, monthly, etc. Each option shows you the interest you'll pay in the life of the loan should you choose that payment option. 

The biggest benefit of a mortgage calculator is it helps you figure out where you stand in terms of financial preparation. Buying a home is and could be one of the biggest investments of your life, and if you are not financially prepared, you may end up losing the house later on. 

3. A Reliable Home Search Tool

If you are using online real estate sites to search for homes near you, you have to remember that you are not seeing all the homes that are for sale. Websites like Zillow, Realtor, Redfin, etc, show the majority of the listings, but there are some homes not listed on national listings. 

The best source for your home search is a real estate agent and a database of available properties called the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

4. A Local Neighborhood Guide

Choosing a home is not just about house style. It's important to research areas and neighborhoods. Here are a few questions you may want to consider when researching communities:

  • Does the community offer amenities, such as a swimming pool or fitness center?
  • Are there parking options in the neighborhood? How far is it to the home?
  • How far is the nearest market, gas station, or retail stores?
  • How is the local school district?

 

5. List of Recently Sold Homes

Home Buying Resources - graphs

Make your home search easier by researching the local real estate market. 

If you are interested in buying a home in a community, reach out to me and ask for a Neighborhood Sold Report, which can help you determine whether the home is fairly priced. 

You can always ask me about the real estate conditions in this area, too.

6. A Local Real Estate Expert

But your best resource for buying a home in this area is the local real estate expert, like me Melissa Conrad. I have all of the tools you will need, including sold data and an easy-to-use home search, to help you easily find the best home.

Here are some of the things I can do for you:

  • Help you identify the best possible property that caters to your needs and wants

When you're looking for a property, you have an idea of your wants and needs. I can help you find the right home, as well as offer honest advice about a home that may seem perfect. As an experienced real estate agent, I can easily pick up details that may not have noticed. 

  • Educate you on the current market conditions

As a real estate buyer, you need to be aware of all the market conditions. You’ll get a clearer picture of what’s going on, and you’ll have a better understanding of the real estate market in your area. 

  • Negotiate the best possible price for the home you plan to buy

Once you find the best property, you want to pay the price that's right for it. You'll most likely be dealing with a listing agent. Listing agents are skilled negotiators, which means you'll be playing against someone who has years of experience. 

With me as your agent, you don't have to worry about negotiation. You have full access to my skills and experience, and you can make the best offer and get the best deal of your new home. 

  • Offer you with all the facts to make informed decisions. One of my many roles is to offer you all the facts so that you make the right decision regarding your real estate investment.

  • Negotiate home inspection repair requests.

The result of the home inspection can be a source of leverage in negotiations. You can request repairs based on the results of the home inspection, or you can get other concessions based on the problems found in the inspection. As your agent, I will help you negotiate with these things in mind because these issues affect the value of the home. 

Having a reputable real estate agent by your side ensures that you get the best assistance in the home buying process. 

Are you ready to buy a home? 

Call me, Melissa Conrad, at 772-240-2589 and let’s discuss what you’re looking for in a home. 

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