You’re finally ready to buy a home. The time is right, and you’ve saved enough for the down payment. The next logical step is to get online to find open houses you can see this weekend, right? Resist that urge! Before you step foot in an open house, make sure you’re prepared to buy a home in Northern Colorado. This article will help you answer 12 essential questions to start the home-buying process confidently and clearly. Your answers will set you on the right path!
How long do you plan to live in this home?
Think about what your life might look like in five years. In ten? Suppose you’re buying a home to sell in a couple of years or renting out your home. In that case, you’ll likely have different priorities than if you want to stay in that home for a long time.
Why do you want to buy a home in Northern Colorado?
Having a clear idea of why you want to buy a home in Northern Colorado is crucial. You can make the best decision when you have a clear goal. Is this an investment opportunity? Are you moving in with your partner or thinking about starting a family? Do you want to buy a house, flip it, rent it out, or list it on AirBnB? Your reasons for buying a home make a huge difference when you start looking at houses.
What about your current lifestyle do you love, and what are you willing to give up?
Think about your daily life. Do you stop by the corner cafe before work? Do you live near family? Where do your kids go to school? Moving into a new house offers wonderful opportunities but always comes with compromise. For example, if you’re moving from a big city like New York to Northern Colorado, you’ll have to make some major lifestyle changes. In many cities, public transportation is cheap and accessible. Buying a home in Northern Colorado could mean you’ll also have to purchase a car. Decide what you can and can’t live without before you start shopping around for homes.
How much time do you spend at home?
Some people spend a good amount of time outside the home— at the office, out to dinner with friends, or participating in outdoor activities. Alternatively, lots of people spend the majority of their day in their homes. After all, it’s 2022, and more people than ever work from home. Think about how you like to spend your time. If you never have people over, you don’t need a huge living room for that dining table you never use. However, if you’d rather cook dinner for friends than bar hop, don’t give up your dream of a big kitchen and dining room.
How do you commute?
This question will help you determine your ideal location as well as things like whether you need a dedicated parking spot. Maybe you love biking to work every morning but don’t want to have your bike in your living room anymore. A building with easy bike storage will be vital to you.
What are your financial goals?
Consider how much money you’re willing to spend on a new home and your future financial goals. If you plan to change jobs or have children, you don’t want a mortgage that is so high that it limits your options if your income decreases.
What are your hobbies?
Some people love to paint. Others like to mountain bike or travel the world for the best scuba diving. Of course, you want to buy a home that allows you to do everything you love. If gardening is your passion, don’t look at houses without an acceptable garden. If your hobbies are more expensive, buying a cheaper home and saving money may be worth it. Luckily, Colorado is a great place to live if you’re interested in outdoor adventures. Hiking every weekend is much easier when you live close to the mountains.
How important is location?
Are you a “location” person or a “home” person? Some people get excited about the local amenities; others are more focused on the features inside their homes. Usually, people tend to value one more than the other. For example, the location could be more critical if you’d rather be near urban conveniences, lots of quiet green space, or a larger number of school choices. On the other hand, if having lots of inside space, a fabulous chef’s kitchen, and a Jacuzzi bathtub gets you excited rather than any particular neighborhood, then you are more of a house person. Narrow down your list of potential houses based on your preference.
Will you raise children in your new home?
Even if you don’t plan to have children soon, it’s a question worth asking. The size of your home is important if you want children, but the location of your home is paramount. Living near a first-rate school district could drastically impact your children’s education. Additionally, consider the neighborhood. Are there nice parks nearby, is the neighborhood considered “safe”? If children aren’t in your future, still consider buying a home in a good school district, as it has the potential to maximize your resell value.
What do you like and dislike about your current home?
What bothers you every single day about your current home? It could be the lack of closet space or a tiny kitchen. On the flip side, what are your favorite parts of your existing home that you can’t live without? Saying goodbye to your old home is bittersweet. Take the opportunity to find a home with all the amenities you’ve always wanted.
Imagine your dream home buying experience.
This is the time to dream BIG! After asking yourself all the questions above, now’s the time to take your brainstorming to pen and paper. Write down everything you want in your perfect home. Don’t hold back— there will be time to make compromises and hard decisions later.
What compromises are you willing to make?
It’s hard to think about what you are willing to give up before you even start looking at homes. However, it’s best to face this question head-on. No home will be 100% perfect. Having an idea of the compromises you are willing to make will be a huge asset when house hunting.
Congrats on answering all of these questions! Hopefully, your answers sparked some self-analysis to help you find your perfect home. I’m always available to answer any additional real estate questions you have. Next week, we’ll take a closer look at whether you are a “location” person or a “house” person. It’s your leading compass to help you decide where and what you’ll look at when you start looking at houses.
Ready to start your search? Let’s grab a drink together! Schedule your initial chat here, and we can identify the steps you need to take to get started!
I'm Lauren Haug! I'm a teacher-turned-real estate agent, and I teach people how to build wealth through real estate in Northern Colorado.
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