How to Figure Out What You Want in a New Home

So, you’ve decided it’s time to buy a new home. Where do you even start?

Online listings give you a good first look at what’s available. But after a while, the homes all blend together, and it’s hard to remember what you liked—or didn’t like—about each home.

Before you spend a lot of time looking for your new home either online or in person, it helps to set up a checklist so the home you fall in love with is the one you’ll eventually buy. Get started with these home buying tips.

First, think about how much you want to spend on your new home.

If you get pre-approved for a mortgage before starting a home search, you will have a better idea of how much you can borrow and the price range that’s affordable to you. This knowledge can save you the heartache of falling for a home that you won’t be able to purchase.

However, how much a home costs is determined by far more than its price. It helps to look at the monthly payment. It includes principal and interest, which is the actual cost of your home plus the cost of borrowing the money.

But that’s not all. It also includes taxes and insurance. These are affected by your new home’s location. It’s especially helpful to know what you the taxes and insurance are going to be if you’re comparing multiple homes. Is one in a flood zone? Is one located in a municipality with higher taxes? If so, even though it may be priced lower than your other option, its monthly payment may be higher.

You’ll also want to think about the cost of ownership for a home. Some new homes cost more than a resale up front, but they are likely to cost less to own long term due to lower monthly energy bills; fewer needed repairs and system replacements; and no out-of-pocket move-in costs for updates to paint, flooring or landscaping.

Consider the basics.

The old adage says there are three things important in real estate: location, location and location. Certainly, where you want to live should be at the top of your search parameters when looking for a new home. Carefully consider where you want to live relative to work, school, shopping, recreation and other activities important to your daily life. 

Think also about the type of home you want to purchase. Your new home may be a house with its own yard (aka a single-family home), a duplex, a co-op, or a condominium. If you prefer a single-family home, think about whether you want one that’s part of a planned community with shared spaces and amenities.

Now’s a good time to think about the size of home you want, too. The number of bedrooms and bathrooms is important, of course, and do you also need a home office? Do you want extra space for a media room, hobby or side-gig?

Next, think about the home you’re leaving behind.

When making your new home checklist, consider the things you like and don’t like about your current home, from its location to its size and style to the daily frustrations you encounter. Does limited closet space drive you crazy? Do you hate having the laundry room far away from the bedrooms?

Think about the things you must avoid and the features you’d like to match or augment. Use this as a basis for a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves.

It’s time to start looking for your new home!

You’ve studied the home buying tips, you’ve determined how much you want to spend, and you’ve developed lists. Now it’s time to have fun!

At True Homes, you can find the best of all worlds. Numerous floorplans with flexibility built in to give you options for both your must-have and nice-to-have lists. Included features that many builders consider upgrades keep both your upfront and your long-term costs low. And with a choice of buying in multiple communities or building on your own lot, True Homes is always in your favorite location.

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