After I spoke with the mortgage officer, I started looking at houses. Bad idea. Why? Because I had no parameters in place. I saw houses I couldn’t afford, houses that were too big, etc. To prevent further overwhelm, I got realistic and wrote down a list of all the things I needed to consider when looking at homes.
Monthly mortgage payment
One of my non-negotiables was that I wanted to pay less than $1,000/month for my mortgage. The whole point of buying a home was to not continue dealing with the yearly rise in rent.
I knew that I wanted to live in a smaller size house, no more than 1,000 square feet. Heating/Cooling a larger home would be expensive and I didn’t want to spend the money on that. Plus I was used to living comfortably in smaller apartments.
There were some places in #RVA that I wasn’t going to be able to live in because the housing prices were beyond my budget.
I also wanted to live close enough to my favorite shopping locations, restaurants, and bars.
I was interested in brick homes. I love the classic look, plus there’s practically no upkeep. I also knew that I didn’t want vinyl siding or stucco because of the maintenance.
I wanted my home to only use electricity for heating and cooking. Gas (cooking/heating) and oil (heating) are both expensive and I didn’t want to make room in my budget for either of them.
Condition of the windows
When I was looking at houses in-person, I paid close attention to the windows. If the seller was unwilling to pay for new windows or lower the sales price, I might have to pay for them myself (or wall away).
Will my current furniture fit?
Buying new furniture wasn’t in my budget, so I knew that all of the furniture that I already had needed to fit into the home I chose. I can always buy furniture that’s more suitable for my home later.
I encourage you to take some time to create this list. It can save you time and money, both of which are valuable in the home buying process.
Until next time,