Monday, March 21, 2016 / by Kimo Quance
Sick of having to cram all your stuff into tiny closets? Tired of the constant hike in rent? Maybe you just need a larger space for your growing family?
It looks like it's time to buy your own home.
Home ownership is considered the fulfillment of the American dream, isn't it? Most folks have shied away from owning their homes due to the fluctuation in the real estate market for the past decade. However with the recovering economy, more families are making their way into the housing market.
But whether you are a first-time buyer or simply relocating, finding the family home of your dreams can be a daunting process. If you ask around, the typical advice given is to:
- figure out how much you can afford.
- shop for a loan or learn more about home-buying programs.
- find a house and make an offer.
But remember that buying a home is a major investment, and as with any major purchase, you should do more than simply compare prices. There is no right or wrong way to go about this, but we find more families find their dream home if they followed a different set of guidelines.
Is It Only About the Location?
Sure, you know you want to live in Santee, but what do you really need? We are all familiar with the real estate mantra of 'location, location, location.' While the geographic location is important, the basic amenities in your new neighborhood are just as significant. The amenities around the property (and the comfort they give you) are what transform a house into your home.
Since everyone's idea of a dream home is different, at the Quance group, we advise our clients to take the time to create a list of the features (and benefits) their ideal home would have. We find that satisfied clients consider these points before making a decision:
- First be clear on what your basic present needs are. Does that 3-bedroom rambler really meet your family’s present needs? If you want to be able to spot your toddler at all times, you may have to look for a property with an open floor plan. Does the property have ample storage space? Does it have generous floor space, in case the kids need an indoor play area? Depending on your family composition, these are a few needs that should be considered when making the decision.
- Now, consider what the neighborhood is like? Are amenities like parks, open spaces, shops, libraries, close by; ? Will you have to 'travel' every time you need to go to the store? Get out of your car and take a walk around the Santee neighborhoods you are interested in; this will allow you get a better feel of distances within the area.
- Getting a property in a good school district can make a big difference for many buyers. The presence of a good school is used as a marker for great neighborhoods. Do the nearby schools have high ratings? If you have kids, how far will they have to travel to get to school? Is there access to a school bus? You can learn more on websites like greatschools.org, where you can find details like test scores, class sizes, dropout rates etc.
- Is it safe to jog, bike and to stroll with a baby, in the neighborhood? Can you do this at any time of the day? When considering a purchase, it is just as important to find out the neighborhood crime rate. While you can talk to your realtor or the local police, the best way to find out more is to visit the area yourself. Visit during peak commuting hours and see just how busy the roads get. You can also visit at night to see if nearby businesses get too noisy for you. No, it's not considered stalking, you are only trying to find a home you will love to live in.
- For those who commute to work, it's vital to factor travel time into your decision. Drive around your planned route during rush hour; is the length of the commute reasonable? If you rely on public transport, be sure to check out the local transit system. How close are the stops to the neighborhood, how often does the transit system run? What's the proximity to your frequented locations?
- Is the neighborhood lively or quiet? Urban, suburban, or rural? While it’s nice to be able to walk to all the amenities you need, that convenience often comes with living around more traffic and increased noise. Are there empty, developable lots around your prospective home? Remember that you're not just buying a house, you're buying into the community as a whole. What happens outside your home can impact its value and even your quality of life. Whether it's a cottage in a cul-de-sac or a condo downtown, make sure you shop in the type of area that's right for you.
Buying a Home You Love
Like we said, buying a home can be a daunting process, just look at how many things you have to consider. But with the right help, you can find a home that's a good fit, in a nice neighborhood and will be a good investment. To buy a home you'll love, it's best you work with a licensed real estate agent. Their knowledge of the current market conditions and the local area will make your home-buying experience stress-free.
Finding the ideal agent can be easy, as the best ones are well known in the areas they serve. And in Santee, fewer agents come more highly recommended than the Quance group. Dedicated to finding a house that you'll love, assisting you negotiate a fair price, and answering all your questions, is what Kimo Quance and his team are about.
A survey by Trulia.com reported that around 50% of all home owners express a degree of regret about their current home. We don't want you to be a statistic, that's why at the Quance group, helping you buy a property that you'll love for years to come, is our focus.
Want to find out more about family homes in Santee? Contact us on 619.324.5397 now.