Buying a home requires you to distinguish between your wants and your needs. Often, buyers can’t find a “perfect” home. Location is particularly tricky—the better the location, the higher the price. If nothing else, it’s important to be in a good location for resale value. If you have your heart set on a certain area or neighborhood but can’t find the home you want in your price range, you have several options.
Downsize. Consider a smaller house with a smaller yard and/or garage. The selling price of a home reflects the number of beds/baths in that home; sacrificing a home office or guest bedroom are both good options.
Switch home types. Generally speaking, single-family homes are more expensive than any other type of home, including condos, apartments, and townhomes. Don’t forget to consider HOA (homeowners association) fees or condo dues when comparing the price of a home to that of an apartment or condo.
Buy a home that needs work. Just as home price reflects the number of bedroom a home has, it also reflects the condition of the home. You will find the best deals in older properties that need some degree of renovation or repair. If you can live comfortably in the home for a few years, this may be the best option for you. Save money for repairs, and tackle them down the road. Remember that home renovation can be costly, although some modifications are inexpensive and easy enough to do by yourself (e.g., painting the walls).
Rent. The median age for the first-time homebuyer is increasing. Why? It’s more cost efficient, and provides the renter with more flexibility in the future. If you can’t afford your dream home just yet—don’t panic. Take the time to save up for a down payment, although be aware home prices may rise in the meantime. Look into signing a lease-to-own agreement (AKA lease-purchase agreement), which allows some of your rent to go towards your down payment.
Have any questions? Ready to buy? Contact me today!