Best Tips for Finding Your Dream Home

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Best Tips for Finding Your Dream Home

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Buying a home is a life-changing event and the process can get overwhelming and stressful. You probably already know how many bedrooms you want and the ideal number of bathrooms, along with a few other features you’d like, but how do you go about finding your dream home? It’s not just browsing listings of beautiful homes and attending every open house in the area you’re looking for.

Henderson Properties Realtors in Charlotte, North Carolina, will help guide you on your home buying journey, but here are some of the best tips for finding your dream home to get you started.

1) Pre-Approval

Don’t even start looking for homes until you have a mortgage pre-approval. Having a pre-approval will allow you to narrow down your search so you can start looking for other criteria to match your wants. The maximum loan amount you are approved for is in the pre-approval letter, so you’ll know your maximum price point and budget instantly. Once you know what you’re approved for, you can begin browsing homes in your price range.

2) Think Ahead

Smaller homes won’t fit big families properly, so if you plan on expanding your family soon, plan ahead and get that extra space. This also applies if you work from home (or are planning to once you move). Having an additional room, you can convert into a home office will be helpful. On the other hand, if you’re single or newly married and don’t plan on having children in the foreseeable future, a smaller home will do just fine. You can always sell down the road to move into a bigger house when the time comes.


3) Non-Negotiables

What are some things that are non-negotiable for your dream home? Write these down on a list and stick to it. Henderson Properties Realtors can assist with finding the perfect home that fits your non-negotiable list. Is a garage a must-have? Or perhaps you want a walk-in closet. Don’t overload your list so that its too difficult to find properties in the area that fit your criteria, but don’t settle for less than what you desire either. When you stick to your list, you get the added benefit of avoiding “list creep.” List creep is when potential buyers see sparkly objects in homes they are shown, and suddenly, they want those things in their new home too.

4) Check Out the Neighborhood

You may love a home but dislike the neighborhood it’s in. Take a look around the area and keep an eye out for things that negatively catch your attention. Parking space may be a problem, or perhaps you’ll find a little nook in the area that you adore. Make sure you’ll love the home and the neighborhood it’s in!

5) Favored Room

Which room did you favor in your old home? If you were someone who spent plenty of time in the kitchen, that room would likely be on the top of your list. If that’s the case, you may be willing to negotiate on some of the negotiable wants in exchange for a large kitchen with plenty of added features. If you’re someone who likes to cozy up on the couch with a good book, a den may be an equal exchange for one of your other wants. Be willing to negotiate on some things (unless they made your non-negotiable list).

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6) Renovate or Move-In

Most buyers know whether they want a house that they will do renovations on or one that is move-in ready. If you fall on the move-in ready side, you can safely browse homes at the top of your price range. However, if you plan on doing renovations, you’ll want to browse homes slightly below your price range, so you’ll have money for the upgrades. Speak with the company offering the loan so they can walk you through the renovation loan process. Just because the house you buy is less than your maximum credit doesn’t mean you’ll get whatever is left for renovations, so you’ll want to be sure you have all the information you need before buying a home for improvements.

7) Stick to Budget

The most important tip for finding your dream home is to stay within budget. It’s easy to get caught up browsing homes that are above your price range to see what’s on the market, but that’s a dangerous game. You’ll fall in love with houses you can’t afford and homes within your price range won’t even get a second glance. Keep in mind what you can comfortably afford and stick to that. You don’t want to be left struggling because you bought more house than you can afford. Henderson Properties Realtors will help you find your dream home within your budget!

8) Document Walkthroughs

When you’re viewing house after house, the features of each one can start to blend and create confusion of what house had which feature you loved. Grab a quick picture of the for sale sign in front of the house and get some photos of the areas you enjoyed. Perhaps the walk-in closet called to you or the view from the back porch took your breath away. Whatever it is you love about each place, capture a photo of it.

buy your dream home

9) Top 3

When you are in the market for your dream home, it is easy to get caught up in the listings. Soon, you’ll have a list of 10 houses you like, all for different reasons. Go in with the mindset that a home is either in the top three, or it’s not on the list at all. This will help prevent you from becoming overwhelmed with choices.

10)  Stop Looking

When you’ve found the perfect home, stop looking! Some buyers like to keep browsing listings even after having an offer accepted, expecting something better to be listed. Be confident in your choices and make the decision you made on your new home.

There are several tips for finding your dream home that will make the process easier and less stressful. The first thing you need to do is get a pre-approval, so you have an idea of what kind of budget you have to work with. Beyond that, make a list of non-negotiable features you want in your new home. Keep the list only to those things you couldn’t live without. Keep documentation of the homes you view so you know what feature went with what house. It can all get jumbled when you have seen several homes! Keep a list of the top 3 homes (replacing them as needed) to keep your potential home list from becoming a mile long and delaying a decision. Once you’ve found your home, it’s time to stop looking and start moving! Located in Charlotte, NC, Henderson Properties Realtors are the real estate specialists you need when finding your dream home.



Shelly Henderson
Shelly Henderson
Shelly calls herself a “Charlottean” because her family has been there since her elementary school days. She serves as Henderson Properties’ co-founder, along with her husband Phil, managing the day-to-day operations, social media branding and leadership development. Her different life experiences, both positive and challenging, earned the title to her first book Starting From Scratch. Shelly has a servant’s heart and leads her company with purpose and passion. She is mom to two sons who continue as young adults to make her heart swell.