Are you watching the market for your dream home? If you and your family are planning a move in the next few months, you have a lot to think about. It’s a complex undertaking that can be quite challenging, especially the first time around. You want to ensure the process goes off without a hitch, so follow these essential steps to find the home of your dreams.


Decide Where You Want to Live


Do you know where you want to live? You may be torn between a few different neighborhoods and feel confused by your options. For instance, you might be picking between an older home in a great neighborhood or a brand-new home that feels too far away. Keep in mind you can budget in the cost of a home renovation to bring that older home up to snuff, but you’ll never be able to shorten the drive to a neighborhood that’s farther away. 


Consider other things that will impact your quality of life and future resale, like the schools in the area, crime statistics, and the distance from your friends and family. Making a pros and cons list will help you visualize your thoughts and concerns, and help you prioritize neighborhoods to narrow your search. Your Hansen Team representative can be the best resource when it comes to choosing an optimal neighborhood since they are fully familiar with the Pensacola, Pace, Gulf Breeze and Milton areas. 


Determine Your Budget


When you’re looking for a new home, determining your budget is an important step to getting into your dream home. CNBC recommends that your housing costs aren’t higher than 30% of your pretax income, so first calculate the total you’ll want to spend on home related costs. 


Next, estimate the average monthly costs of utilities like water, gas, internet, and other services for the size of home you’d like to have, and check your prefered neighborhoods to discover homeowners insurance costs in those areas. Once you have these numbers, you can see how much you have left for your monthly mortgage payments, and determine your budget for your new home. 


Research Mortgage Rates


If you’re planning to take out a mortgage to finance your new home, research mortgage rates, and take a close look at all your options. For example, a conventional mortgage is a low-cost home loan with lower interest rates than many other loans. You can further reduce your monthly payment by paying points on your mortgage. Use a mortgage points calculator to determine whether this strategy makes sense for you, and note that it’s particularly applicable to those planning to remain in the same home for a number of years. 


You’ll have a range of down payment options, too, from a 20% down payment option to a low down payment plan, depending on your credit score. If you’re able to pay a 20% minimum down payment, you’ll save big by avoiding the cost of mortgage insurance, and you’ll be able to pay off your mortgage in less time. You can also choose between a fixed-rate or an adjustable-rate loan, depending on your needs.


Plan for Moving Day


After you’ve closed the deal on your dream home, you’ll need to plan your moving day. You can often save a lot of money if you schedule your move for the middle of the week in the middle of the month. Avoid moving on holidays, or at the end of summer when many families and students are moving homes. 


There are a lot of steps when it comes to buying your new home, so don’t rush the process, just take the time you need to do them all. Decide where you want to live, determine your budget, research mortgage rates, and hire movers you can trust. And to ensure a smooth process from day one, partner with The Hansen Team. Lean their knowledge and experience to take the guesswork and labor out of the process. Just call 850-308-1634 to get started. Buying a new home doesn’t have to be stressful, and you’ll be in your dream home before you know it!