Buying a home is an exciting process, but it can also be a bit stressful.  It’s easy to get caught up in the details and lose sight of the big picture.  A few simple house-hunting tips can help you stay on track while you search for your dream home:

  1. Know your budget

Before you start looking at homes, it’s important to know how much house you can afford.  You’ll probably be pre-approved for a certain amount by a lender, but you can use an online calculator to come up with your own ballpark figures.  Your current income, expenses and debt will all determine your budget, but the size of your down payment will also play a major role.

  1. Make a priority list

Take a few minutes to sit and write out a list of everything you’re looking for in a home; be sure to ask all members of your household for their input.  Is location the most important factor to you?  Are you willing to take on the challenges of a fixer-upper?  Is your heart set on a specific style of home?  Choose your must-haves and keep these dealbreakers in mind when you start shopping.

  1. Take notes

After you’ve seen a number of homes, it’s easy to forget the specific details about each one.  Before you leave a house tour, write down some notes to help you remember what you liked or didn’t like about it.

  1. Pay attention to location

The old saying “location, location, location” has more than a grain of truth to it.  The location of a home doesn’t just influence its price, but it can have a major impact on your life for the time you live there.  Before you commit to a house, ask yourself a number of questions:  What kind of commute will you have?  Are the schools well-regarded?  If you need to change jobs, is there a strong employment market in the area?  Could you see yourself living in this neighborhood for many years?

  1. Choose a buyer’s agent

While it’s possible to check out various listings on your own, most real estate experts recommend working with a buyer’s agent.  Professional buyer’s agents will help protect their client’s interests and negotiate on their behalf throughout the purchase process.  Try asking family and friends for recommendations, or call some real estate agencies in Oshkosh WI to find the agent who will work best for you and your family.

House hunting requires careful preparation and research, but it can also be a lot of fun.  Armed with these tips, you’ll be ready to search for your dream home and feel confident that you’re making an informed purchase decision.