Finding the Home That Matches Your Needs and Budget

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Experienced and first-time house hunters alike have their work cut out for them. Knowing what you can afford, what's on your must-have list, and what you plan to do with your space in the future are all factors to consider when deciding between a fixer-upper or a forever home. Here are some tips from Realtor Carey Scott to get you started.

Building a Legacy With a Forever Home

If you can manage the expense, finding your forever home might be the smartest and easiest choice. These homes tend to have more space to grow your family and are sold in better condition. As a tradeoff, more space and land means more upkeep and repairs.

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They also tend to be more expensive. That could be in terms of the cost of the house itself, property taxes, or replacements and repairs on higher-end appliances. If you have the freedom and means to maintain the condition and ownership of the property, these houses can provide shelter and comfort for generations.

If you work for yourself, or plan to in the near future, make sure that your new home has adequate home office space. You’d also do well to organize your home-based business as an LLC. This can help protect your personal assets, such as your lovely new home, from liability incurred by your business.

Saving Money by Customizing Your Starter House

A starter home is a more budget-friendly option, trading high property taxes and higher list prices for something more affordable and manageable. Starter homes usually have less land and space to upkeep, essentially force you to customize your space, and can be rented out or resold for a profit when you move on to a forever home. 

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Assessing Your Finances

Before looking at any homes or putting in offers, you'll need to figure out what you can afford to commit to. Interest rates, mortgages, and required down payments will vary depending on your region, the financial institution you choose, and a variety of other factors. Down payments, for instance, can range from just over 3% of your total loan up to 20%. A realtor can help you assess the best financial institution and payment model for your means and needs.

Make sure to do your research before applying for your mortgage. The size of your potential loan is tied to factors such as your credit score, your debt-to-income ratio, current income and employment, and other factors specific to your financial institution. Additionally, how large of a loan you request will affect your interest rate and required down payment.

Protecting Your Investment

Life has a tendency of complicating even the most foolproof plans, so it's vital to have a plan in place to account for upkeep and damages to your property. Homeowner's insurance will provide you with financial support in the event an accident, crime, or natural disaster causes damages or losses to your house, so it’s helpful to take a look at this option once you settle in.

A home warranty can cover repair costs for approved appliances when they succumb to regular wear and tear. During the pre-move home inspection, take special care in assessing which included amenities are still covered under their manufacturer's warranties.

Enjoy Your Perfect Home

Finding the right house to suit your needs is a complex matter of wants, needs, and means. However, it’s well-worth the effort! So do your research, speak to professionals, research mortgages and how much you’ll need for a down payment, and think ahead to the sort of future you want to provide yourself and your family when assessing whether a starter home or forever home fits your budget and requirements.

If you’re searching for the perfect home in Columbus, GA, talk to Realtor Carey Scott at 706-442-1084 and visit!

Carey Scott 
Associate Broker/Partner
Prestige Property Brokers



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