Choosing my Perfect Get Away House
I grew up living in the big city of Atlanta, breathing in a steady stream of carbon monoxide and smog. The screech of sirens soothing me to sleep at night from across the concrete jungle. Close encounters with wildlife were limited to the occasional squirrel crossing my path over a sidewalk. Although it was only 2 hours away from Atlanta, the blue ridge mountains felt like a different world. I drove up the blue ridge parkway, watching the landscape dip into deep pools of green foliage, then stretch upwards into distant mountainous peaks. It was along the parkway that I learned the great blue ridge pastime of rock hopping.
I fell in love with this land, so I decided to buy a second home in the blue ridge mountains. Going through the process of buying a home is always tiresome and full of stress. Below are some helpful real estate factors to consider when choosing the perfect lake house:
Know the difference between your Needs and Wants - Unlimited budgets (for most people) do not exist so it is important to distinguish your needs from your wants when making a big investment. Over a period of a couple of months, sit down and make a list of everything that comes to mind of your needs and wants for your dream house. This list is very likely to change several times as you learn more about all your real estate options and considerations through research. For example, you may want a home as close to Miami Beach as possible, but once you see the available options within your price range, your priorities may change. Do you really need an extravagant hot tub and swimming pool, along with 5 bedrooms, a large lot, and convenient location? Everyone must make compromises when buying a home, prioritize your list so that you don't have to make as many.
Geography - If this is your only home, you will want to consider homes in certain locations. You must be able to answer questions like: What is the town like? Would you fit in there? What are the schools like? Even for those who do not have kids, property value is tied to the value of education in neighborhoods and communities. Consider how long the commute will be and whether or not you can manage it to narrow down your list of houses worth considering.
Financial Budgets and Options - Make sure you research all available financing options. Some companies may give you a better mortgage rate than others depending on various credit factors. One other thing to ensure before purchasing a house is your budget. Make sure your finances are in order and that you are not making unreasonable purchase expectations. Figuring out your debt-to-income ratio is a great way to get a clearer picture of what housing prices you can afford in the long run.
Negotiate - The initial home contract is always negotiated. Make sure you go into your real estate purchasing decision with up-to-date information on housing prices and features. This step includes home inspections, home appraisals, move-in-dates, rent backs, etc.
Maintenance - Sometimes those "easy fixer-upers" are not so easy to fix as we think. Make sure that you choose a piece of real estate that gives you the most bang for your buck and will not require many maintenance costs
It Takes Time- Buying a home is a major investment in everyone's life. This being said, it takes time to know which house you want to make your home. A couple of extra months searching for your dream house will be worth it in the long run.
Utilizing these tips allowed me to purchase my blue ridge real estate dream home. I hope this advice will inspire you to do the same.
This article was written by Anna Landreville a real estate enthusiast.