Lisa Westerman's Blog
After living in a small apartment or crowded house, you might be dreaming of having more space, a bigger closet, or just one more bathroom to ease the clutter and closeness. When is a larger home the answer? Before making the leap to more square footage, consider all the factors that fill the bill. If upsizing is the right move, embrace it with confidence.
If you intend to grow your household by adding children, inviting more housemates into your tribe, having lots of guests, or bringing in aging parents, you may need a larger home. Depending on the scenario, square footage and the number of rooms aren’t the only considerations. Homes designed for families with children would not necessarily be the best alternative for housing aging parents or as shared space for working adults.
Some areas to consider are:
Stairs: with small children, elderly adults, or residents with disabilities, a home with stairs may not be as useful as a single-story home. Due to property-size constraints, larger homes with additional bedrooms and bathrooms tend to be multi-storied structures. While offering more space, the challenge of maneuvering stairs might not be the right choice. Pay special attention to the number of steps required to enter or leave a home as well. For some people, negotiating just two or three steps up to the front porch might be problematic. Work with your agent to determine what configuration meets the needs of your unique household.
Bathroom arrangements: Homes designed for nuclear families often have joint bathroom arrangements just as a Jack and Jill configuration with a shared bathroom between two bedrooms, or a shared hallway bathroom. If en suite baths better serve your household, offering more privacy to housemates, let your agent know that’s what you need.
Mobility: Homes for aging parents or members requiring assistive aids such as wheelchairs or walkers, need wider doorways and halls, direct access entries with fewer sharp corners to maneuver and baths with accessible fixtures. Older homes tend to have narrower doors and hallways. Even if older adults do not need such aids presently, they may in the future.
Social spaces: Do you need a family room separate from a more formal entertainment area? Does your household require more private or quiet spaces? Are you likely to entertain large groups of adults? Children? Before buying based on size alone, consider how the shared spaces will be used. For example, some blended households may have older teens and young adults as well as toddlers and preschoolers. Having more than one social space allows family members to socialize in an age-appropriate space without being confined to their rooms.
Entertaining: For some households, the number and size of bedrooms is less important than the space available for you to host dinner parties, game nights, or large gatherings. Let your agent know if entertainment space is your priority so that the homes you view include open-concept areas conducive to sizable gatherings.
Workspace: With more folks working from home now, your need for more space might include the need for single or multiple office options. Some people work well within hearing of the household noise and bustle while others need a quiet retreat. Discussing these differing work styles ahead of making your purchase ensures that everyone’s needs are addressed.
Whatever “home” looks like to you; your agent is ready to help you find it. Make one list of everything that your household needs and another of the additional items you want and share it with your realtor.
Deciding whether to submit an offer to purchase a house may prove to be difficult. Fortunately, we're here to help you weigh the pros and cons of submitting a homebuying proposal so you can make the best-possible decision.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you determine whether now is the right time to submit an offer to purchase a residence.
1. Evaluate Your Budget
If you believe you've found your dream home, you should take a look at your budget. That way, you can verify whether you'll be able to afford this residence both now and in the future.
Oftentimes, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start a house search. If you meet with banks and credit unions, you can learn about all of the mortgage options at your disposal. Then, you can select a mortgage that allows you to pursue a house with a budget in hand.
2. Consider Your Homebuying Criteria
You want to discover your dream residence as quickly as possible, but it is paramount to find a house that you can enjoy for years to come. If you have a list of homebuying criteria, you may be able to quickly determine whether a residence is right for you.
As you craft homebuying criteria, think about what you want to find in your dream residence. For instance, if you've always wanted to own a house on a beach, you can narrow your home search accordingly. On the other hand, if you would like to own a home that has an above-ground swimming pool but can live without this feature if necessary, you should include an above-ground swimming pool as a low-priority item on your homebuying checklist.
3. Assess the Housing Market
The housing market often fluctuates, and a buyer's market today may shift into seller's favor tomorrow. If you analyze the housing market closely, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one. You then can decide whether to submit an offer to purchase or hold off on providing a homebuying proposal until housing market conditions improve.
To distinguish a buyer's market from a seller's market, it generally is a good idea to look at the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town. You also should find out how long these residences were available before they sold. By reviewing this housing market data, you can assess the demand for houses in your city or town.
Lastly, as you debate whether to submit an offer to purchase a residence, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional is happy to provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. As a result, a real estate agent can help you perform an in-depth evaluation of a home and determine whether to offer to buy this house.
Make an informed decision about whether to submit an offer to purchase a residence – use the aforementioned tips, and you'll be better equipped than ever before to decide how to proceed with any house, at any time.
You know you want to make your homeownership dream come true sooner rather than later. At the same time, you still have no idea about how you'll acquire a great house at a budget-friendly price.
Navigating the housing market can be tricky, especially for those who are operating with limited finances at their disposal. Lucky for you, we're here to take the guesswork out of the homebuying journey and ensure you can discover a wonderful residence at a price that won't break your budget.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you buy your dream house at the lowest-possible price.
1. Analyze the Housing Market
The real estate market may seem complicated at first. Fortunately, homebuyers who collect and review housing market data can become real estate experts in no time at all.
Ultimately, homebuyers who know the ins and outs of the real estate market may be better equipped than others to get the best price on a house. These buyers can identify patterns and trends within housing market data and determine whether they're operating in a buyer's or seller's market. Then, once a buyer finds his or her dream house, this individual can submit a competitive offer to purchase that meets the needs of all parties involved in a home sale.
2. Get Pre-Approved for Home Financing
Getting pre-approved for home financing allows you to enter the real estate market with a good idea about how much you can spend on a residence. Thus, you'll be able to determine exactly how much you can afford to pay for a residence – and avoid overspending on a house – if you obtain pre-approval for a mortgage.
To receive pre-approval for a mortgage, you should meet with a variety of banks and credit unions. These financial institutions employ courteous, knowledgeable mortgage specialists who can teach you everything you need to know about home financing. That way, you can get the information you need to make an informed mortgage decision.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Hiring a real estate agent is essential for a homebuyer who wants to purchase his or her dream house at the right price. In fact, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that you can avoid paying too much for your ideal residence.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you and learn about your homebuying goals. He or she next will craft a personalized homebuying strategy, one that allows you to quickly and effortlessly discover a high-quality and affordable residence. After you find your ideal house, a real estate agent will help you put together a competitive offer to purchase too. And if a seller accepts your homebuying proposal, a real estate agent will guide you along the final stages of the property buying journey.
Ready to make your homeownership dream a reality? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can find a top-notch house at a price that matches your budget.
If you've conducted an in-depth search for your dream house but still have yet to find your ideal residence, there is no need to worry. In fact, you can revisit your homebuying strategy and revise it as needed. This will allow you to restart your house search and increase the likelihood that you'll discover your dream home sooner rather than later.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to revisit your homebuying strategy, and these include:
1. You can consider why you're searching for a house.
There are many reasons why an individual may choose to buy a home. By revisiting your homebuying strategy, you can think about why you want to purchase a house and proceed accordingly.
For example, if your initial goal was to buy a home near the top schools in a particular city or town, you may want to refocus your house search to achieve the optimal results. Or, if you now find that you'd prefer to own a house in a big city instead of a small town, you can update your house search.
2. You can evaluate your home must-haves and wants.
After attending open house events and home showings, your homebuying criteria may have changed. As such, now may be a good time to revisit your homebuying strategy so you can update these criteria.
Think about things you've liked and disliked as you've viewed various available houses. You can use your open house and home showing experiences to revamp your home must-haves and wants, and as a result, reenter the housing market with a fresh perspective.
3. You can review where you want to live.
As you've searched for homes, you may have found that houses in certain cities and towns are more appealing than other residences. Thus, you can revise your homebuying strategy to focus on residences in your preferred cities and towns. This will help you accelerate your house search and ensure you can find a home in a city or town where you want to live.
Of course, conducting a home search on your own often can be difficult. But if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive plenty of support throughout the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent understands exactly what it takes to find a great residence in any city or town. He or she can help you revamp your homebuying strategy and streamline your house search.
In addition, a real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new houses that become available and help you navigate the homebuying cycle. Once you find your dream house, a real estate agent will make it easy to submit a competitive offer to purchase this residence. And if you ever have concerns or questions about purchasing a home, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.
Revisit your homebuying strategy today, and you could move one step closer to finding and purchasing your ideal residence.
Buying a house should be a fast, simple process. However, problems sometimes can arise that prevent a homebuyer from discovering his or her dream residence.
Ultimately, there are many factors to consider before you purchase a house to ensure you can avoid myriad homebuying hurdles, and these factors include:
1. Your Home Needs
No two houses are identical, and much in the same vein, no two homebuyers have the same definition of the perfect residence. As such, a homebuyer should consider his or her dream home demands prior to kicking off a home search.
Making a checklist of home "must-haves" and "wants" is paramount. With this checklist in hand, a homebuyer will be able to refine his or her home search and map out the property buying journey accordingly.
It may be helpful to consider your day-to-day activities as you evaluate where you want to live too.
For example, if you work in the city, you may want to find a house that is located near public transportation. Comparatively, if you have kids, you may want to consider houses that are located close to top schools.
2. Your Budget
You know that you want to buy a house. On the other hand, you still have no idea how much money is available to ensure you can make your homeownership dreams come true.
When it comes to buying a house, it pays to meet with banks and credit unions. With pre-approval for a mortgage, you'll know precisely how much you can spend on a house.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, set up consultations with several potential lenders. Then, you can learn about all of your mortgage options and select a mortgage lender that matches or surpasses your expectations.
3. Your Homebuying Timeline
Are you looking to buy a home as soon as possible? Or, can you afford to take a wait-and-see approach throughout the homebuying journey?
Examine your homebuying timeline and plan ahead as much as possible. By doing so, you can boost your chances of finding a terrific house and minimize stress as you browse the real estate market.
Regardless of your homebuying timeline, it always helps to work with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can take the guesswork out of searching for a residence and ensure you can discover a stellar house at a budget-friendly price.
Typically, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new residences as they become available. He or she also will provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations and respond to any homebuying concerns and questions.
Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent can provide during homebuying negotiations, either.
A real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a home seller on your behalf. That way, he or she can help you secure a great house without having to worry about paying too much.
Streamline the process of acquiring your ideal residence. Consider the aforementioned factors, and you can keep things simple as you proceed along the homebuying journey.