Set Your Goal

Before house shopping, it’s crucial that you know exactly what you’re looking for. Set a goal and don’t allow anything or anyone (especially a pushy realtor) to stop you from achieving your goal. In order to set a goal you must know the price range you can afford, the exact type of home you’re looking for, the condition of the home, and the area in which you’d like to live.

In establishing the specifics of your goal, you must decide how flexible you are on any of the details. What if you’re looking for a brand new home but find a fixer upper for half the price you were expecting to pay? What if you find your dream home but it’s not in the area in which you were hoping to live? Is your goal set in stone or are certain details flexible? The more flexible you are over the condition and location of the home, the greater your chances become of finding the perfect home.

There isn’t too much we can say about the price range you can afford. In most cases the price range is not flexible. Based on your income, down payment, and credit record, you know exactly how much you can afford to pay.  However, not all figures are set in stone. Remember that property taxes are usually included the total monthly housing costs. The property taxes for a $250,000 house in one town might be $6,000 per year but the property taxes for the same exact house in a neighboring town might be $2,500. The savings of $3,500 per year would be about $300 per month. You would be saving almost $300 per month buying the same house in a neighboring town.

Below we’ve included a list of features you’ll probably want to consider when determining the exact features you’d like in a home. The more flexible you are with the features, the more houses you’ll find.

Asking Price?

New or Used?

Fixer Upper?

Number of bedrooms?

Number of bathrooms?

Minimum acreage or lot size?

Total square footage of livable space?

Garage attached, detached, or not needed?

Number of garage spaces?

Type of heat? (Electric, Heating Oil, Propane, Wood, Solar, Wind)

Central air conditioning?

Specific kitchen requirements? (Work island, eat-in counter, stainless steel appliances)

Balcony, deck or porch?

Number of floors? (including basement if applicable)

In-home office?

Large backyard?


Distance to work?

Distance to school?

Distance to hospital?

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