If you’ve been keeping up with the series so far, you’ve decided on a budget, narrowed down a location, and nailed down your criteria for a new home. These three factors are crucial in finding the perfect home in Colorado. This article explains how these factors influence each other in your search for a home. How you “put it all together” is your roadmap for house hunting.
The Three Buckets
Each and every factor that you can think of when you are buying a home fits into one of these three buckets:
The first two are obvious. Your criteria bucket covers the different aspects of the home itself you require (such as size, number of bedrooms, the condition of the house, etc.) Each bucket doesn’t have to be precisely equal in weight. Still, they must be balanced and aligned to achieve your ultimate goal of finding the perfect home in Colorado.
Fill Your Buckets in the Right Order
Start by figuring out your budget. Your budget is based on many factors, but it boils down to two considerations: what you can afford to pay upfront and what you can afford to pay per month. Your real estate agent is a fantastic resource to help you figure this out. As a real estate professional, I can help you estimate closing costs, agent fees, and other expenses. After that, you’ll know how much you have available as a down payment. It’s up to you to sort out what your household can afford each month. Now that you’ve set a realistic budget, you can move on.
Next, focus on location. Where do you want to live and why? How important is the location to you? If you’re more of a “house” person, you can go into your house hunt more flexibly. If location is a priority, you know your house hunt should be limited to neighborhoods that fit your needs.
Finally, move on to the criteria bucket. What do you absolutely need in a home? How long do you plan on living there? What do you want your life to be like during that time? How will your new home influence this life?
Alignment = Your Perfect Home in Colorado
Each bucket must be aligned, so they don’t spill over and derail your search. For example—if you won’t compromise on location and can’t change your budget, then you must focus on the “criteria” bucket. In that case, you might want to consider a fixer-upper or a smaller home. Figure out what you’re willing to compromise on so you can still have your desired location and budget.
Approaching your home search in this methodical way may sound silly, but it works! It takes a lot of serious thought if you want to start house-hunting with confidence.
If you’re still stuck, ask yourself how long you’ll live in this first home. That can add some clarity to what you put in each bucket. It will help you define what you need right now and what can wait for when it’s time to move to your next home. For example, are schools a factor for your family right now? If they are, be sure not to miss next week’s article, “Buying a Home in an Optimal School District.” Even if you don’t plan to have children, this article is an excellent read for any new home buyer. For more home buying tips, check out my other articles!
Ready to get your search started? Let’s find a time to meet up and chat about your unique situation. You can schedule yourself on my calendar here!
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.
schedule your free consultation