Set Your Priorities When Searching for a New Home

by Bienek Properties of Sonoma 12/17/2018

When you decide to make an offer on a home, your mind may be flooded with dozens of questions and concerns -- several of which may involve money matters, while others are about the condition of the house.

However, if you've had the house professionally inspected and made sure your income is sufficient to absorb monthly expenses, than you've already taken steps to prevent or at least minimize future challenges.

Since buying a home is such a big investment and there are so many emotional factors that could influence your decision, it's essential to stay focused, adhere to a budget, and be aware of what you need in order to be satisfied with your purchase.

The Financial Side of Things: Even though a mortgage broker or loan officer may approve you for a large mortgage, only you can determine whether you'd be comfortable making those monthly payments. In  addition to the cost of your mortgage, property taxes, and school taxes, there are also other expenses to consider and include in the equation. If you're moving into a larger house, for example, the cost of heating and/or cooling your home may be higher than you're used to. Poorly insulated houses can also have a negative impact on home energy costs.

Another key factor to think about when you're figuring out the affordability of a potential new home is property maintenance, the cost of HVAC service, and miscellaneous expenses, such as appliance repairs, plumbing leaks, and electrical services. Some neighborhoods, residential developments, and condos also require a monthly Homeowner Association (HOA) fee, which can potentially put a burden on your cash flow situation. A good rule of thumb, of course, is to avoid spending beyond your means. While nobody would dispute the logic of that advice, it's often a lot easier said than done -- especially on an ongoing, consistent basis.

Non-Financial Priorities: The only way to know what you truly want and need in a new home is to clarify your goals, requirements, and wishes. Making lists, discussing it with your partner, and visiting lots of homes for sale will help give you the ideas, the inspiration, and helpful points of comparison you need. Online real estate listings and home improvement websites can also provide a wealth of practical ideas.

In addition to having enough bedrooms and bathrooms to meet your family's needs, it's also important to feel comfortable with the quality of the school district, the amount of noise in the neighborhood, and the traffic level on nearby streets. Proximity to recreation, shopping, and other amenities can also make the difference between your ideal home and one which doesn't quite make the grade. Privacy (or the lack, thereof) is also a major issue which can impact your satisfaction with a real estate purchase. While it's good to approach home buying with a sense of optimism, the best time to weigh all the pros and cons is before you sign the final papers at the closing table!

About the Author
Author

Bienek Properties of Sonoma

Vince and Mary are well-respected by their REALTOR peers in Sonoma's Wine County for their hard work, dedication and integrity. They are passionate about real estate and have a proven track record of exceeding the needs and goals of their clientele. Vince and Mary work as a team. Together, they make up one of the most successful teams in Sonoma County. They specialize in applying their expertise and market knowledge to consistently meet and exceed the needs and goals of their clients. Vince and Mary work with sellers, buyers and investors in both residential and commercial markets.

They have built a reputation for tenacity and protecting the interests and investments of their clients. Vince attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK, where he studied Business Administration. As a collegiate baseball player, Vince helped lead Oral Roberts University to their only appearance in the College World Series in 1978. After college, Vince played professional baseball for five years in the Chicago White Sox Organization. Vince has a strong background in sales, sales management and the building products industry. As part of his sales management experience, Vince successfully negotiated national contracts with the top 20 builders in the United States. These skill sets have enabled him to be a strong asset for his clients. Mary attended college at the University of Kentucky before completing her BS in Sociology at California State University, San Bernardino.

Mary has been in the business of helping people make the "move" to their next landing place for many years. Be it a home across town or across the country, Mary has paved the way for many buyers and sellers to transition into the next phase of their lives. Vince and Mary are also active volunteers in the Sonoma Valley. They volunteer at Relay for Life, Vintage Festival, Sonoma Film Festival, as well as The Boys and Girls Club of Sonoma Valley. They have a passion for the community they live and work in.