What You Should Be Looking for When Buying a Home

Buying a home is an exciting step in life, and it should be fun, not a daunting task that leaves you feeling stressed. Knowing how to start and what to look for can help your home-buying journey and keep you in line with your goals rather than wasting time looking aimlessly or daydreaming about homes that aren’t practical. Do you go with the fixer-upper with good bones that needs time and money? Or the ready-to-go new model that works but might not check every box? What about commute time and appliances? Community amenities and location? Here, are our tips on how to choose the right home. 

Choose a Home Within Budget

First and foremost, it’s important to establish a budget when starting your house hunt. You’ll need to get pre-approved for a loan, which is based on your income, credit, and current debts. Once you’re pre-approved for a loan, you can search for homes within your price range. Yes, scoping out beautiful properties way over budget can be fun, but it’s important to stick to your budget to guarantee you’ll be financially set to make your mortgage payments. To make the search simple, use the Rocket Homes app, where you can search and save listings that meet your budget and criteria.

Set a Plan

There are a lot of factors at play when thinking about the down payment and all of the closing costs. While the down payment is the bulk of what you have been saving for, closing costs for the buyer are typically 3% – 6% of the loan amount. They include paying for the application fee, home appraisal, attorney fee if you are using a real estate attorney, closing fee, homeowners insurance, title insurance, escrow funds, property taxes, and more. Sure, you can plan to save money to cover these costs, but Rocket Mortgage can help you put that plan into action with the BUY+ program.

When you work with Rocket Homes to buy a home and use Rocket Mortgage to finance, you can get up to $10,000 cash toward closing from Rocket Mortgage! By partnering with both, you can simplify the home-buying process and could save thousands.

Choose Your Location

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of home buying is location. You want to make sure that what matters to you most is secured, whether that’s a great school district or a lively downtown bar and restaurant scene. Families tend to prioritize nearby attractions such as parks and trails, museums, and outdoor spaces, while young adults crave a buzzing city scene full of nightlife. Take these things into consideration when buying, but don’t forget about your commute as well. If you’re looking for a bit more solitude and don’t mind a longer commute, you might expand your search to areas a bit farther outside the city. But if time is money and you’re already on a tight schedule, you might want to stick to a city dwelling.

You’ll also want to consider the physical orientation of your home, especially if you plan on spending lots of time outdoors or entertaining. Consider the direction that the sunsets to make sure it’s not beaming against you while you relax on the patio or choose a place with a bit of space between your neighbors if you want some privacy for you and your guests. Live somewhere where it snows and ices frequently? Perhaps choose a place without a steep driveway to avoid unwanted falls and hazards.

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Make Sure Expensive Things Are Checked During the Inspection

Whether you’re choosing a fixer-upper or a new build, it’s crucial to have your home inspector check major mechanics and appliances before purchase. You’ll want to make sure everything is running smoothly before you buy because once you sign the final documents, everything is your responsibility. If the inspector does find a problem with anything, such as HVAC issues, flood or water damage, plumbing issues, flooring problems, leaky windows, or a damaged roof, you can ask the seller to repair the problems before closing, or for them to pay part of the closing costs so you have enough money to fix the issues yourself.

Stick to Your Needs

Yes, we all want a pool and granite countertops and a short commute, and that picturesque circle drive, but in reality, we can’t have it all, which means you need to prioritize what you want versus what you need in a home. If you absolutely need a specific number of bedrooms or must have a shorter commute, for example, make those a need when house hunting. In the long run, you’ll be thankful you chose a place that meets your needs versus your wants. Plus, you can always add in granite countertops and an updated bathroom later.

To get started with Rocket Mortgage, get approved online. You can also match with a Rocket Homes Partner Agent nearby who can help you find a perfect place to call home.

This article was created by SheKnows for Rocket Mortgage.

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