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Searching for a new home is an adventure and an exciting process. To find your dream home, it will be necessary to do a little homework and research, but with the right resources, you will be able to find your home sooner rather than later. Here are some tips to help you get started on your search for your dream home.

THE BIGGER PICTURE

What does your ideal home look like? Write down what you expect in a new home and list the items in order of most important to least important. This a good way to figure out what is most important to you and will allow you to better understand what you would be willing to sacrifice when you are on the hunt such as number of bedrooms versus distance to work. Having this list will help you start your search for your dream home.

CREATE A BUDGET

Having a budget is always important and absolutely necessary when searching for a new home. Being aware of the costs associated with purchasing a home will help you create a realistic budget. Today’s minimum down payment ranges from 3.5 percent on an FHA loan to 10 or even 20 percent for conventional loans, which means you would need to provide at least $7,000 and up to $40,000 on a $200,000 house. Also, keep closing costs in mind, which more than likely will need to be paid in cash and can run anywhere from 3-4 percent of your total purchase price. The best way to reduce your mortgage is by improving your credit score before you start the process of house hunting. Visit here for more financial tips on preparing your for home buying.

THINK ABOUT LOCATION

Have a good understanding of the location where you would like to live. This will help narrow down your searches. Base your searches on distance to work for yourself, your partner or spouse, as well as distance from family, grocery stores, day care, schools, and other locations that may be important to you. Use the Homes.com commuter tool to get a better understanding of how long it will take you to get to these locations from a particular home. Also, research the neighborhoods to better understand how safe the neighborhoods are.

THE SEARCH

Searching for a home is done more efficiently with a real estate agent, which you can find on Homes.com, based on where you live and where you are looking to live. Use online resources such as Homes.com to browse homes that fit your budget and are in the location where you would like to live. You can also ask friends and family to assist you, in case they have advice or have seen homes that fit your criteria. Having an extra helping hand will make the house hunting process much easier and less stressful.

WHEN YOU FIND A HOME

Once you have found a few homes that you are seriously considering to purchasing, do some more research in terms of the home itself. Purchasing a home is a long-term commitment; therefore, evaluate the foundation of the home for wall gaps, stress fractures, cracks, unleveled walls, etc. You should also evaluate electrical and plumbing. Some older homes don’t have enough electrical lines to withstand the demand of new appliances, so adding more lines will call for additional expenses in regard to renovations. With plumbing, leaky pipes must be inspected as well as pipes that are exposed. Check the toilets and faucets to be sure they operate correctly and check for water pressure. The more informed you are about a house, the more confident you will be in your decision making.

Purchasing a home requires dedication, research, and planning. With the right resources and tools, you could soon be a new homeowner, which makes all the time put in to the house hunt well spent. To find a local real estate agent as well as to search for a home, visit Homes.com and click here to download the Home Buying Guide to help you get even more prepared for achieving the American dream.

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MLS®, REALTOR®, and the associated logos are trademarks of The Canadian Real Estate Association.