Finding Your Dream Home Carmel Westfield

For first-time home buyers, and even from some home-buying veterans, the home buying process can be daunting, overwhelming and exhausting. Even when you know exactly what you want in a home, many times your budget does not match up with your wants. Hiring a real estate agent who can lead you down the road to homeownership can help take a lot of the stress out of a buying a home.

Here’s a step-by-step look at the process of finding your dream home:

Create a wish list—start by making a list of must-haves and wants in your dream home, prioritizing the most important needs and wants. Needs and wants in a home can include location, school district, number of bedrooms, basement, yard size, etc. etc. Picking a few wants and needs that are non-negotiable can help narrow down home choices right from the start.

Get pre-approval or pre-qualification—talk to a mortgage lender or broker to get pre-approved or pre-qualified for a home loan. This process will help you better understand how much home you can afford and assure you do not waste time looking for homes in a price range you cannot afford.

Find a real estate agent—talk to friends and family members who have recently bought and ask for recommendations for a real estate agent. Following your initial meeting where you discuss your wants, needs and budget, your real estate agent will lead you through the home-buying process including:

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Search—real estate agents have exclusive access to their area’s MLS, which is a database of the homes for sale in that area. Because most MLS databases are not open to the public, using a real estate agent becomes even more important in finding your dream home.

Customized Home Searches—once a real estate agent knows your wants and needs list and budget, they can set up a customized home search using those variables. Home searches can be set up to email you new homes that come on the market once a week, once a day or even as soon as a new home comes on the market to assure you find out about every home that matches your criteria as soon as possible.

Start looking at homes—make note of homes that come through in your customizable search that you would like to see in person. Set up a time with your agent to see the homes on your list. Most agents are willing to work in your time frame to show homes including evenings and on weekends.

Narrow down your choices—when looking at homes, take notes and even pictures to help you remember each home. Looking at home after home can make them all blur together! Make note if a home fulfills things on your needs and wants list.

Make an offer—once you’ve looked at all your choices and find a home that fits your needs and wants, your agent will help you make an offer. Once your offer is accepted, you can start the process toward closing on your dream home!

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