Tips to Get the Most Home for Your Money While Staying Within Your Budget

Everyone wants to get the best bang for their buck when buying a home. But it can be challenging to find one you love without busting your budget. These tactics will help you make the best choice and not suffer from buyer’s remorse.

Set a Realistic Budget

Before you decide the price range you’ll be shopping in, take a serious look at your finances and decide what you can truly afford to spend on a home. It’s more than just the mortgage itself. Don’t forget to factor in expenses such as property taxes, homeowners insurance, maintenance and repairs. This type of planning will help you arrive at a budget that’s both reasonable and fits into your finances.


Get Pre-Approved

A pre-approval is an important first step in your homeownership journey. It helps you understand how much home you can afford and increases your attractiveness to sellers. An experienced mortgage lender can pull your credit, examine your financial picture, and lay out your options. They can advise you if you need to pursue a conventional loan, an FHA loan, a jumbo loan, or another type of mortgage option.

Determine Your Must-Haves

Before you shop, thoughtfully consider what your dream home looks like. This approach can keep you focused on what you really want in a home and help you avoid paying for things that don’t matter to you. For example, if a central location isn’t high on your list of must-haves, look at homes a bit off the beaten path. Or, if you don’t cook, don’t pay extra for a completely renovated, high-end kitchen.

Find a Dedicated Real Estate Agent

Working with an experienced real estate agent is one of the most important things you can do to get the most bang for your buck. If you don’t already have an agent, you can ask your loan officer for recommendations. Hire one who quickly follows up with your questions and really listens to what you want. Your agent can guide you to the neighborhoods and homes that best fit your must-haves and your budget, giving you a better chance of ending up in a property that makes you happy.

Prepare to Negotiate

Once you find a home you like, be ready to compete against other buyers to win the deal. This may mean making concessions and increasing your offering price.

While negotiating is more likely to get you the home you want, don’t be afraid to walk away if the pricing ends up being more than your budget. It may take a bit longer, but you’ll be glad you didn’t overspend in the long run.

Keep your eye on your budget and your must-have list when searching for the property you want to buy. And lean heavily on your mortgage lender and your real estate agent to help you make the best decision.

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