For first-time homebuyers, the home buying process is uncharted territory and everything is new. And many first-time homebuyers don’t get exactly what they’re looking for the first time. However, second-time homebuyers have a clearer picture of what they’re looking for; they want a forever home they can grow with, love, and build a life in.
Second-time homebuyers that know exactly what they want and how to get it will be able to claim their dream home even in a competitive real estate market. As you start your second-time home buying journey, consider these tips to make the process go smoothly.
6 Tips To Help Second-Time Homebuyers Find Their Forever Home
1. Know What You Want In Your Dream Home
The most helpful tip to second-time homebuyers is to know what you’re looking for. How many bedrooms do you need? Bathrooms? Square footage? Do you want a yard and a patio? A pool, or room for one? A garage? Think about living in every space of your home to find the features that are most important, then divide these desires into must-haves and nice perks. This will help you find your dream home faster.
2. Know What You Want In Your Neighborhood
It’s not just a saying; location, location, location. For second-time homebuyers, location is particularly important. Your neighborhood will not only decide your home’s future value, but it’s also a big part of how much you enjoy your home. In the same way you decide what you want in your home, decide what you want in your neighborhood. Do you want to be close to restaurants and entertainment? Good schools? Your workplace? Parks or recreational areas? Which of these are must-haves and which could you live without?
3. Budget Accurately
Your second home is going to be more expensive than your first, which means it will be even harder to accommodate going over budget. Second-time homebuyers also have to factor in the sale of the first home. Though it’s possible to manage two mortgages, it’s best to buy your second home only after your first home has sold, even if you have to make arrangements in between. This way, you know what you have to work with and you don’t have to put a sale contingency on your offer that might jeopardize the sale.
4. Don’t Rush
Some second-time homebuyers find their dream home right away, and others take longer. Don’t rush. Remember, you might look for a home for months, but you’ll live in it for years. If your first home sells before you find a second one and you don’t want to put a sale contingency on your new home offer, make comfortable living arrangements in the interim.
5. Anticipate Future Needs
If you’re a second-time home buyer, you’re not just buying a home for the next five or ten years, you’re buying it for the next thirty or fifty. In that time, life will inevitably throw you some curveballs. Will your dream home allow you to be flexible? If your family grows bigger or faster than you expected, will you have enough space, or can you make an addition? Will you be able to work from home or telecommute if you need to? Would you be able to rent part of the home if you need to adjust your budget?
6. Make Preparations
You completed the home sale process successfully once, but now the stakes are higher. When you find a dream home that fulfills all your needs, don’t let another buyer snatch it up! Make sure you have all your documents in order, your credit is good, and you have a lender lined up. Get mortgage pre-approval to give your offer the best chance of acceptance.
A firm second-time home buying plan will help you locate, bid on, and close the sale on your dream home faster. With your needs and desires well-defined, you can get exactly what you’re looking for and avoid any mistakes you made as a first-time homebuyer.
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