by Mary Ryan, Realtor, www.MaryRyan.HomeRealEstate.com 402.499.6881
Owning a home is considered by many to be a major part of realizing “the American Dream.” For most of us, a home is the single biggest investment we’ll ever make. How do you make sure you’ve found the best home for your family?
The key is to know what you need and what you want – and know the difference. That sounds simple, but determining your wants and needs in a house can be complicated when your spouse or partner, your children and extended family may have completely different ideas about what is important in a home.
First, though, make sure you have a firm idea of how much house you can afford. Talk to a reputable lender and get pre-qualified so you know what size and type of house you can buy with the amount you have to spend.
Next, make sure you know what area you want to live in. That old adage really is true: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! And don’t just base your search on what others tell you is best, because a “good neighborhood” is subjective. A Realtor can help you find out about home sales and price trends in a neighborhood to determine if buying there is a good investment or if home values are dropping. Your Realtor may also know about planned changes for an area, including commercial zoning, planned redevelopment or other changes in the works. Look at how close it is to your job, schools trails, or anything that is important to you. Don’t be shy about driving through an area, or even walking through and stopping to chat with residents who might be watering their lawn or walking a dog – they can tell you more about a neighborhood than anyone.
As far as the house itself, you’ll need to determine the top needs of your family – maybe you entertain a lot or have frequent visits from extended family and a dining room and ample off-street parking are priorities. You might be an avid cook and want to ensure you find a house with a large kitchen. You may be a gardener and need to know if there will be enough space in the yard for your garden and sufficient sunlight.
Take particular note of your daily routines – how many bedrooms and baths do you need? What are your high traffic times and places? Do you need a fenced yard for your pet or a finished basement for guests or recreation?
Take the time to look at how you live, and that will help determine the best type of home for you and your family. And don’t forget to visit with a Realtor to find out how you can incorporate your housing needs with your housing budget, and how to fit all that criteria into a specific area or neighborhood. Your needs are personal and your home search is not a one-size-fits-all project. A real estate professional can help make the process efficient and enjoyable for you and everyone in your family.
If you would like more information, contact Mary Ryan, Home Real Estate – Cotner Office: 225 North Cotner Blvd Lincoln NE 68505. You may also email her at Mary.Ryan@HomeRealEstate.com
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