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How Can I Find The Perfect House?

By Gretchen Wegrich Updated on 12/22/2014

choose a home, tips to choosing a homeLender411 has compiled the best tips to help you choose your home. These tips cover the type of mortgage, type of home, and last but not least resale considerations of your home.  Read on to get the info you need to get you into your new home fast!

Once you've narrowed down your choices to a couple of neighborhoods to search within, it's time to choose a few homes to view. Keep a wish list handy to remind you which features are absolutely necessary and which are simply preferences.

Things to consider during your search are:

  • Types of homes
  • Home price & type of mortgage required for it (traditional vs. jumbo, for instance)
  • Whether repairs will be required

Forms of homeownership:

Condos

When you purchase a condo, you own the unit just as you would a single house. Typically, you'll also own a certain percentage of the "common amenities" such as stairs, sidewalks, roofs, and any other perks such as a pool or tennis court. A monthly fee covers your share of taxes and insurance for these, as well as repairs and maintenance. A homeowners association usually oversees all property terms and orchestrates repairs and upgrades.

Multifamily homes

Some buyers choose to start with multiple family dwellings so they'll have rental income to help with their mortgage payments. Many mortgage types, including FHA and VA loans, can be used for buildings with up to four units if the buyer intends to occupy one of them. Keep in mind the added costs of repairs and upgrades for the rental units, however. 

Co-ops

In a few cities, usually densely populated ones, cooperative apartments are common. They work by having consumers purchase shares in a corporation that owns the whole building, and then leases apartments to the shareholders. The monthly fee charged includes your share of the building's mortgage, and a board of directors supervises management.

Purchase and resale considerations:

  • Weigh your budget, needs, and personal tastes when deciding whether you want a home that’s newly constructed, an older home or a "fixer-upper"--one that will need quite a bit of work.
  • One-bedroom condos are more difficult to resell than two-bedroom ones.
  • Two-bedroom/one-bath single houses typically have less appeal than houses with three or more bedrooms, and therefore less appreciation potential. This means it may be harder to accrue equity.
  • Homes with "curb appeal", meaning attractive, well-maintained, and a charming view when seen from the street are the easiest to resell. If resale is a possibility for you, don't buy the flashiest house on the street, or anything that is unusual or extravagantly priced. Traditionally, the best investment is a less expensive, more moderately sized home on the street.

Make notes about the homes you see while looking them over. During long days of house hunting, important details can blur together, and you'll want to closely compare all the homes you visit. When you do find the perfect home, be sure to act fast--it's a competitive market, and you won't want to lose your chance. Having all your paperwork in order and your mortgage lined up will ensure you get the home you want. Lender411 can help. Take advantage of our many tools, and you're sure to get the home you want!

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About The Author:
Gretchen Wegrich
Gretchen Wegrich is an editor at Lender411. She specializes in mortgage basics, personal finance and green living. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in writing from University of California, San Diego and previously worked at the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Contact her at gretchen@lender411com.

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