Baltimore area couple finds new home

Purchasing a home together

As you embark upon what is usually the largest purchase of your life, it is important to have an idea of what you want before you meet with a realtor. Two people, and sometimes more if you include the kids, have to come up with on what an ideal house is for you.

Make a list of “must haves” for your new home. Talk about it with your significant other and figure out what you must have in your home. Make a list and put the must haves in one column and the “wants” in another.

In Baltimore, there can be a huge difference in your daily commute by what part of town you chose. If you have a long drive back and forth to work in heavy traffic every day, it can change your eight hour work day to an even longer day. Can you live with an extra hour or two in the car every day? If not, that cuts down the area considerably.

It is important to figure out what amenities are your personal must-haves before you start home shopping. There are plenty of homes available, finding one that fits your desires is the challenge. Most people consider good schools, shopping (grocery stores, drug stores, gas station, etc.) and other conveniences.

Do you want a large piece of land? An eat-in kitchen and dining room? A garage with work area? Updated appliances? A certain number of bedrooms or bathrooms? In-law apartment? Townhouse, semi-detached or single family home?

Think about what you must have. Review your lists together with the family. Leave some wiggle room for the things you want, but are negotiable like:

  • a room for a home office versus an area in a room for a home office
  • a kitchen that has newer appliances, but maybe not top of the line
  • one and half baths instead of two full baths
  • off street parking versus a garage
  • finished lower level versus unfinished
  • fireplace
  • deck
  • man cave
  • large soaking bathtub
  • 30 gallon water heater versus a 50 gallon water heater
  • a less expensive home that needs work versus a move-in ready home
  • granite countertops
  • a fenced yard
  • the right amount of storage space
  • shed
  • hardwood floors

Some people find that they would rather buy what they can afford and hope to save enough to make upgrades over time. Others are looking for a place that is move in ready.

You don’t have to have every detail or intangible nailed down ahead of meeting your realtor. However, getting your priorities in mind beforehand will help your realtor focus your search and ultimately help you find your home in a timely fashion.

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