Essential House Hunting Tips

Purchasing a new home is an exciting opportunity. In addition to finding a space that fits your exact needs, you’ll also have the chance to treat yourself to wonderful additional features you may have never had before. However, what’s most important is that you land in a home that you’ll be happy with for years to come. These essential house hunting tips will help ensure that you make the right purchase.

If you need assistance selling your house or are looking for a new home in Isle of Palms, SC, contact Jimmy Carroll Realty today.

Do Your Research

First, it’s important to do some preliminary research on the area where you’re planning to buy. The more information you have on the location or neighborhood you’re looking at, the more confident you’ll feel in your final decision.

If you’ve yet to pin down a specific area you’d like to live, consider the following questions:

  • Do you prefer to live in the suburbs or closer to the city?
  • Do you care about having a commute?
  • Do you care about living near the grocery stores, restaurants, and shopping locations you frequent?
  • Do you have kids or plan to have kids? If so, you’ll want to consider the school district they’ll be zoned in.
  • Do you have a dog? It’s important to live in an area where you can walk them or have enough room for a yard.

With a location pinned down, we suggest that you start scoping out the area. Drive through the neighborhood in the mornings, afternoons, and evening to get a sense of the traffic and overall feel of the area. If you’re considering a new location, explore what stores and restaurants are close by. Research the crime rate, learn more about the school district (if applicable), and be on the lookout for nearby construction that could be a nuisance after moving in.

Define Your Budget

You can’t go house hunting without having a budget in mind. Imagine falling in love with a home that meets your exact needs, only to discover that it’s $50,000 more than you can afford. That would be devastating!

Take a look at your income and calculate what’s truly within reach for you. You’ll be making monthly payments on your home, and you don’t want to feel worried about making ends meets. Getting pre-approved is a great way to see what you can afford and are qualified for. Plus, if you’re serious about buying, you’ll have to complete this step anyway in order to purchase a home. Lenders generally recommend purchasing a home that’s no more than three to four times your annual income.

Identify Wants Versus Needs

It’s important to ask yourself what you need in a home versus what you want in a home. This is an  important distinction to make, because it will significantly affect your quality of life.

Some needs you might be searching for in a home include:

  • The number of bedrooms
  • The style of home, such as a condo versus a single-family house
  • The layout of the home
  • Square footage
  • Yard for your dog and/or kids

Some wants you might be searching for in a home include:

  • Hardwood flooring
  • An ensuite bathroom
  • A pool
  • Vaulted ceilings
  • A deck

While it’s certainly okay to have wants in a home, it’s most important that the house you’re looking at first checks off every need that you require. This will ensure you make a decision that you can feel confident in. A home that meets all of your needs and also includes a few of your wants would be a nice bonus!

Are You Comfortable Renovating?

It’s important to ask yourself if you’re comfortable looking at homes that require renovations. If so, you’ll need to adjust your budget to account for any construction you plan to do. While there are many pros to buying a home that needs renovations, such as purchasing it for a cheaper price and being able to design it with all of the wants and needs you desire, there are also some cons. These include the potential to encounter underlying issues with the home and stretching your budget for unexpected costs.

Hire an Agent

One of the best steps you can take during the house hunting process is hiring a realtor. When you do so, you’ll find that discovering the home of your dreams is so much simpler. Realtors have local connections and outstanding resources that allow them to find the best and latest homes on the market. They’ll stick diligently to your budget and listen carefully to your list of needs to quickly find options that will blow you away.

Choose Jimmy Carroll Realty

We hope these essential house hunting tips assist you throughout this exciting process! If you’re ready to start searching for the home of your dreams, contact Jimmy Carroll Realty today. We can introduce you to all of the available homes in the Isle of Palms, SC area that you’re sure to fall in love with. We look forward to assisting you!

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