Are you looking at homes? Buying a first home, or upgrading to something fresh and new? If so, here are four things to think about as you make your decisions:
- Don’t forget to look online. A total of 44% of all home buyers of any age looked online for properties, and when it comes to millenials, nearly all of them do. From 2009 to 2013, Google reports that real estate searches increased by 253%. Realtors and private sellers of homes know this, and it’s becoming increasingly easy to look online. Internet real estate sites now let you search by very specific criteria, allowing you to narrow your search quickly and get a good idea of what’s on the market. Make this your first step in the hunt.
- Buying is often better than renting. A lot of people in the market for new homes can get distracted by rental prices and wonder if they’re making the right decision. The average home price in the United States in March of 2016 was $186,000; which might seem like a pretty big chunk of change until you consider that in the top 100 cities in America, it’s ultimately nearly 38% cheaper to buy than to rent a home.
- Consider what you really want before you go looking. For example, if you have kids or hope to have them soon, good school districts are a key issue when buying a home. But since the value of a home can vary by as much as 20% by the quality of the school district it’s in, if you’re single or the kids are grown and gone you might want to look away from those areas to get the best prices. The same is true of things like kitchens. If you cook and entertain frequently, a newly-remodeled kitchen can make all the difference to you. But a kitchen remodel can raise the asking price on condos or houses, so if cooking isn’t important to you, consider looking at homes for sale without kitchens that have just been redone.
- Most of all, be patient. Of people who have bought homes, 52% of them say that finding just the right property was the hardest part. Accept that this is going to take some time, and make sure you do it right. A home is a huge investment, and it’s worth taking the time to get exactly what you need and want. Don’t give up too early, and don’t feel pressured into buying something less than exactly what you want.