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Loving Life: How To Afford the House of Your Dreams

shutters-669296_640When individuals decide to purchase a house, they inevitably have an image in mind. Most want the house to be spacious, comfortable, and close to work, with good schools nearby, convenient shopping, no crime and friendly neighbors. However, finding and affording that perfect house can be more elusive. If you have great expectations for the house of your dreams, you need a few practical strategies for realizing your dream:

Save For A Large Down Payment

The best way to get the most house you can afford is by having a significant amount of money as a down payment. The large down payment will allow you to borrow less for the remainder of the price and have a lower monthly mortgage payment. It will also give you greater equity in the home immediately. This equity can be used to borrow against for important purchases, such as remodeling, education or other needs.

Gather A Good Team

When you are ready to begin your search for a home, assemble a team of professionals that can help you to do the best job. An experienced real estate agent with knowledge of the neighborhood you prefer is an important aid in finding the right home. Similarly, a bank representative that can provide clear and complete information on how much money they are willing to lend can a helpful resource for your purchase. If these professionals are unable to provide the timely information you need, find other people to help you in this important financial investment. Purchasing a home is a critical business, and these professionals should be helpful partners in your effort.

Be Realistic With Your Expectations

The home with the fireplace in the living, the big yard for the kids or the extra room for the home office may not be available for the price you want in the neighborhood you love. As you begin to view properties, you may find that none of them are perfect. Each home may have benefits and drawbacks. Your task is to adjust your expectations to reality and find a home that can be adapted to your family’s needs. You can view a number of properties online at websites, such as Jayne & Moss, to get an idea of the range of properties that are available.

Use Your Imagination

If you’re looking for a home that has all of the features you want, you may have to pay a significant price for those amenities. A smarter idea is to find a home that will accommodate the improvements you can do to make it the home of your dreams. Look for a home that has features, such as a suitable basement for a playroom or office, space for an addition or rooms that can be adapted for specific needs. A home at a good price that can be remodeled to provide the kitchen of your dreams can often be a better choice than a home that already has these features but is overpriced. Remember that you can do some work yourself, save money and still have the perfect house you always dreamed of.

When You Find The Right House, Move Fast

Many homebuyers find a really great home and lose their opportunity to make an offer on it by delaying. If you are fortunate to find a great house at a great price, understand that other buyers are likely to see the same qualities that you do. Do not think it over for too long. You may find that another buyer has snapped it up. Homebuyers often find themselves in a bidding war over a good property. Use your best judgment, and don’t be tempted into buying at an inflated price. It may be difficult to see a good house go to another buyer, but it’s better than living with a payment you must struggle to afford.

Be Flexible When Negotiating

The fine line between the price the seller wants and the price the property is worth can be difficult one to navigate. The seller may reject your initial offer, and you may have to consider their counteroffer. You can solve this problem with thorough research on past sale prices for similar houses in the area.  You can then make a rational decision about whether to agree to the seller’s higher price or attempt a counteroffer of your own. If you cannot come to a reasonable accommodation with the seller, you may have to let the property go and keep looking for a more suitable home.

Finding an affordable home that works for your needs requires an investment of time, thought and imagination. If you are willing to provide these factors, your home will be an asset you can depend on for years to come.

John Blackburn works in the mortgage business and always appreciates the chance to share his personal financing tips online. He writes for a number of consumer finance and lifestyle websites on a frequent basis.

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