Finding a house that you will love

by Maureen Bartelt, 2022 FMR Vice President  |  18 Apr, 2022

Do Your Homework 

The idea of buying a home is exciting ... but there are some important first steps you should take to start the process in the right way. "Find a trusted REALTOR" and "get preapproved" should be at the top of any homebuying checklist! 
Know What You Don't Want 
For some people, living downtown is an absolute must. To others, it's a deal-breaker. School zones, nearby parks, and neighborhood amenities may be important to some buyers. Sometimes, it's actually easier to make a list of the items that might be "deal breakers"! 
Look Into the Surrounding Area 
Do your research! While a REALTOR will help you find the right home for you, it's important that you take an active role in selecting which area will best meet your needs. 
Stay On Budget 
Know what you can afford so you don't get your heart broken. One of the most critical parts of your new home search is getting preapproved by a reputable lender. Offers submitted without a preapproval letter will not be taken as seriously as offers submitted with a preapproval letter. In a low-inventory market, multiple offers are very common. How can you stand out among the crowd if you don't have the financial backing from a lender? 
Don't waste your time looking at homes without first getting preapproved. This way, you won't risk falling in love with a home you cannot afford. In contrast, you may be surprised to learn how much home you can afford in different neighborhoods or cities! 
Look Past Minor Flaws 
Any home is going to have some issues, but most often, some minor flaws can be overlooked. We like to encourage buyers to look for the 85% perfect home. Don't get so caught up on a home being 100% perfect... it doesn't exist! Is the structure sound? Is the design something you love, but maybe the paint colors are off-putting? Paint, for example, is an inexpensive fix and, for most buyers, something they can change on their own. Don't be afraid of a little sweat equity. The return on investment might be great! 
Bring In An Expert 
A REALTOR will have all the tools and knowledge you need to find the home to fit your needs and guide you to homeownership with success. Rely on your REALTOR's network of professionals to help you build the perfect team for homebuying victory! 
Maureen Bartelt
Vice President, FM REALTORS® 
Designated Broker, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Premier Properties