Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, buying a home is an exciting process. However, there’s also a lot to consider when you decide to purchase real estate. So before you begin your search for the perfect property, here are four questions you should ask yourself:

What do I want?

Take the time to figure out what type of property you want to buy and what makes the most sense for your lifestyle. From single-family and multi-family homes to condos and co-ops, there are many different options on the market and it’s important to choose the type that best fits your needs. Figuring out the town or neighborhood you want to live in is equally important. While a property might have all of the amenities you’re looking for, factors like proximity to highways or shopping, a rural location or a more urban neighborhood, and many other items can impact the overall home-owning experience. Take the time to prioritize your list of requirements (e.g. large backyard, great school system) before you begin your search.

What can I afford?

One rule of thumb is that you should never spend more than 30% of your monthly income on a mortgage payment. An alternate rule states that you can afford to buy a property that is equivalent to approximately two-and-a-half times your annual salary. Review your overall budget and lifestyle spending to determine what is the right price point for you.

Am I financially prepared?

A few months before you start searching for a home, review your credit history and make sure it is in good standing. Get copies of your credit report, ensure that it’s accurate, and fix any issues you discover. It’s likely that you’ll also want to get pre-approved for a home loan, which will put you in a better position to make a serious offer once you find the right property. Pre-approval from a lender is based on your credit history, debt, and income.

Are you familiar with housing prices in your preferred area?

It is important to do some research to understand the typical selling prices of homes and condos in the areas you are considering. Use the search tools here on our site to familiarize yourself with average selling prices for the types of properties you are interested in. Our Advisra sales professionals are also available to meet with you to discuss the local market and advise you on things to consider when planning to purchase property. We will explain the home buying process to you and give you the information you need to make a the right decision for you.