Uncover Your (Amazing) Dream Home!
Finding your dream home and the place you’ll make memories for years to come is no easy task! It takes time and patience and a whole lot of inspiration, but, once you find it, you’ll just know it’s the ultimate place of rest that you’ve been longing for! We’ve put together some tips to make the process that much easier for you!
- Determine your style—Whether it’s cape cod, colonial, craftsmen, or contemporary, everyone has a favorite style. And, yes, it’s okay if it’s a mix of two—that’s what makes your style unique! Going into the dream home search with an idea in mind will make the process that much easier when working with a realtor or browsing your options online. Just for fun: Take this quiz to determine your design style!
- Find your neighborhood—Pinpointing where you’d like to lay down your roots is one of the first steps in finding your dream home! If you’ve lived in an area for years, you probably have a decent idea of what your options are in terms of neighboring towns and villages. However, if you’re new to an area and just moving into a neighborhood, sometimes it pays to rent an apartment month-to-month until you can get a better feel for the area and where you’d like to be!
- Make a “must-have” list and stick to it—Work with your spouse and other family members to establish a “top 10” list. Determine what’s most important to you and especially, the non-negotiables. Whether it’s a large yard for the dogs, a 2-car garage, or a quiet street—those are all factors that play into your final decision and can help narrow your search!
- Gather inspiration from HGTV—Luckily, we live in an age where dream homes are flooding our favorite TV channels. Use those shows to inspire you! Check out Amazing Interiors, highlighting grand, unique and original home designs and one of our favorites, Fixer Upper for inspiring transformations that will have you believing in the potential of fixing up your own dream home!
- Set a budget and get pre-approved— Adopt the 28/36 rule. Under those guidelines, your monthly housing expenses should not exceed 28% of your gross monthly income, while all your monthly expenses — including housing costs, car payments, etc.— should not exceed 36% of your gross monthly income. Sticking to these guidelines can help make sure you can comfortably afford your home. To get the pre-approval process going, order your credit report and credit score to see where you stand. Gather proof of income in the form of W2s and paystubs. Finally, tally the funds you have available for a down payment and closing costs.
Remember that finding your dream home should be a journey that you love being on! Use the amazing resources available to organize your thoughts and inspiration and most of all, be patient, because once you find it, you’ll know it was always meant to be!