Home buying can be a long and complicated process. If you find yourself struggling more than succeeding, you might need to adjust your search criteria. Here are five ways to improve your home search and find the home of your dreams.
1. Consider other neighborhoods.
If you aren’t having any luck in your first choice neighborhood, it’s not likely that the perfect home will miraculously appear in your price range. If it does, you’ll find yourself in a sea of eager competition. Instead, explore different neighborhoods. You might find that your budget can stretch more in other areas.
2. Be open to light cosmetic work.
Today’s buyers want a move-in ready home. And while that’s certainly the more convenient option, it limits your search significantly. Scope out homes that need a little TLC, and give them a chance. Sometimes a fresh coat of paint, updated appliances, and new cabinet hardware can make a world of difference.
It might be hard, but you need to be open and willing to compromise on home requirements. You should have a list of “non-negotiables”, of course, but you should also have a list of things you’d be willing to budge on. Think about your short term and long term needs, and figure out where you can compromise.
4. Save some extra money.
It’s not easy to save up a down payment. You might be able to use cash gifts from family members or sell some items around the house you no longer use. There are a lot of creative ways to make some extra cash, but it’s also important to find a lender that can offer a low down payment mortgage. Be sure to shop around before you make a decision.
5. Keep renting.
You might feel pressured to buy a home ASAP because of low interest rates. However, it’s vital that you feel ready to take on homeownership before you jump in. If you aren’t having any luck with your home search, consider renting for another year or two. Don’t let the end of a lease pressure you into a mortgage you don’t necessarily want. Holding off will allow you to save more for a down payment. It will also give you time to improve your credit score. The market is unpredictable, but time is usually on your side.