Buying a new home can be an exciting prospect, but it can quickly get discouraging if the homes you want to purchase are way outside your price range. Don't worry - we've got you covered. Here are four strategies to help you find a good home on a decent budget.
Work with a Realtor
Good homes that are priced to sell go quickly, sometimes selling within just a few days. Get signed up with a realtor, such as one from RE/MAX Associates of Dallas, who can watch the local housing market for you and alert you when your dream home comes on the market. Realtors also sometimes have access to 'pocket listings', which are listings that have not yet come on the market, but are sellable. Working with a quality realtor helps you get the first jump on fantastic properties that are within your price range.
Research Crime Rates
Your home is probably the biggest purchase you'll ever make, so make sure you're investing in a good home in a good area. Use websites like Neighborhoodscout.com or local sheriff websites to look up crime statistics and help you avoid dangerous areas. Crime websites can help you know if a home you're considering is actually a great deal, or if it's priced low because the home is in a horrible area.
Look Up School Ratings
When you're making an investment in a home, you want to make sure that investment is well-placed. The quality of nearby education has an impact on your home's future value, as property values are typically higher in areas with great schools. Greatschools.org is a great resource when wanting to find out about the quality of local schools. They give each school in the nation a score from 1-10 based on their standardized test scores. You can even pull up individual school boundaries to help make your house hunt even simpler. It’s not that you should choose the school with the lowest rating but more so that you should choose the school with the highest rating in a neighborhood you can afford.
Most people want a move-in ready home, and they're willing to pay a premium for it. Unfortunately, not all of us can afford to pay that premium. When you want to maximize your home purchasing budget, look at homes that have everything on your must-have list, like number of rooms, location, size, lot, etc., but that might need a little TLC to get them up to your standards. Repainting the walls, changing out the flooring, or even getting a new roof are all things that can be done after the fact. A little elbow grease can go a long way.
Your home is an investment, but more than that, it's the place you'll call your home. Make sure you choose wisely. Doing research on crime rates and school performance will help you find a good home that will maximize your return on investment. Considering fixer-uppers and working with a realtor will help you stay on budget, and help you get into your desired neighborhood. Purchasing a home doesn't have to be a daunting task. If you put in the effort ahead of time and do your research, you're sure to find a fantastic home you can enjoy for years to come.