The process of finding a house is a complicated one. Not only do you need to find one you like, but it needs to be in your budget, appeal to the rest of your family, and satisfy all of the practical needs of your family. There can be a seemingly endless list of things you are looking for and it can seem impossible to satisfy all of them. In truth, it probably is. But by using certain strategies, you can keep effectively sort out your priorities and ensure that you’re buying a house in Las Vegas that satisfies both your wants and needs.
Let’s take a look at some of the most relevant tips for finding and buying a house in Las Vegas that your family can live in for years to come.
Figure out your budget
The first step to making any major purchase is figuring out how much you can reasonably spend on it. This remains true for buying a house in Las Vegas. If you have been through the home buying process before, you may be able to estimate how much house you can afford. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, MSN recommends that you use a mortgage calculator to get an accurate estimate of what you can afford.
Whether you’re an experienced homebuyer or a first-timer, you’ll need to know certain expenses in your life in order to accurately calculate your budget. The first thing you need to determine is if you can put down a deposit on the house and how much you can put down. This usually comes from savings you have accumulated over the years, so take the time to go through your finances as well as those of your partner. The bigger deposit you can put down, the lower your monthly payments will be.
You’ll then need to work out what your annual and monthly income is and make a list of your monthly expenses. Don’t rush through this list of expenses, as it is important to get absolutely everything down. Your income and your expenses are the two most important factors to calculate how much you can spend on a mortgage each month. You’ll also want to consider how your income and expenses might change over the next couple of years. When considering this, think about any imminent plans you have for your future, such as a job change, having children, or starting a business. You’ll want to be sure that you can still cover your mortgage payments when these changes come.
When you’re making your budget, the last important step is to find out whether you will be able to secure financing, such as purchase loans, for buying a house in Las Vegas. You will want to know the details of your potential loan, such as how much you’ll be able to borrow and the interest rates the provider will charge. Providers typically determine these details by considering your personal financial profile, including your credit score, salary, job, assets, and more.
Try to think like a provider by taking these factors into serious consideration. You may also be able to use online loan calculators to determine your chances of being approved for a loan. Knowing your chances beforehand is important so that you don’t find yourself in a financial pinch when trying to pay your mortgage. While you may be able to apply for a home equity line of credit or rely on other financial hail marys, you should try to avoid this outcome as much as possible.
Make your list of requirements
When you’re buying a house in Las Vegas, you need to have a clear idea of the things that you aren’t willing or able to compromise on in a house. When creating this list, remember that you need to brainstorm with your family or whoever you will be living with as well. This will ensure that the house you choose takes everyone’s needs into consideration.
Every family’s list of requirements will differ vastly from one another, but some questions you should consider when crafting this list include:
- Do you have pets?
- Does your home need to be wheelchair accessible or have other mobility accommodations?
- Do you need outdoor spaces such as a yard or patio and how large do they have to be?
- Do you need off-street parking? Do you need room for multiple vehicles
- Do you have kids who need to go to the best elementary schools?
- Are you planning on growing your family in the future?
- Do you need a guest room for visiting friends and relatives?
Of course, this is just an example list of things to consider and each list of questions will be unique to each family. Try to consider every aspect of your life that you possibly can so that you include it in this list.
As you’re making your list of requirements, it can be hard to determine whether some items are actually necessary or if they are more negotiable. Try starting out by putting down everything you think is a requirement. Once you’ve completed the list, evaluate all of the items against one another and determine which ones lean more towards the preference category, a list that you will make in the next section.
Make your list of preferences
Now that you have down the things that you need in a new home, you can do the fun part of thinking about the things that you want in your house. These features won’t make or break your decision to buy a certain house, but they make up your unique vision of a dream home. For some people this list could include functional amenities such as solar panels and for others it could include more luxurious amenities such as a hot tub. Whatever you see in your imagination when you picture your perfect home should go on the preferences list.
This list will likely also include the type of home styles and architecture you prefer. To determine the ones that you like, take a look at home and decorating magazines. By knowing the official names for certain designs or features that you would like in your own home, you can tell your realtor exactly what you want without any guesswork.
Just as you involved your family in the creation of the requirements list, make sure they are there for creating the preferences list as well. By including them in this list, you may be able to satisfy some aspirational wants you didn’t even know they had. However, it is important to manage expectations for this list, especially for children who are contributing their dreams for a home. Your little ones may have their heart set on a giant inground pool complete with gear for swimmers, but that preference may be a bit out of your budget. Be sure to let everyone know that this is a list only of possibilities, not guarantees.
As you make this list, remember to manage your own expectations as well. You will be hard-pressed to find a home that has all of the preferred features you want as well as all of the things that are on your list of requirements. Keep in mind that while no home will come with every feature you want, you may have room in your budget to make additions or changes to the home to accommodate your wants.
Decide on your preferred area
Just as you’ve made a list of the things you need in a home to assist in your search, you need to determine what you want from the area in which you will live. Not only will you need to fulfill certain factors such as being close to your workplace or your child’s school, but you need to live in a neighborhood where you feel happy and comfortable. Taking all of these elements into consideration will help you pinpoint the perfect neighborhood when you’re buying a house in Las Vegas.
One important aspect of a neighborhood to consider is its proximity to hospitals and other medical services. Should you have a medical emergency, you want to be sure that you can receive immediate, high-quality care at a nearby hospital. You should also look for urgent care centers, doctor offices, and dental practices in the area. If you have kids, remember to research childrens dentists and doctors in the area. The perfect neighborhood will have all of the medical practices your family needs to stay healthy throughout the year.
When buying a house in Las Vegas, remember to do research on the safety of the neighborhood you want to live in. You can conduct this research by looking up crime statistics for the area online as well as asking people who live in the area about any problems they’ve had in the past. You could do this in-person or search for neighborhood groups on social media platforms like Facebook and talk to their members.
If having stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues close by is important for your lifestyle, be sure to consider your neighborhood’s proximity to these conveniences. Having a grocery store within walking distance could prove very useful when you run out of a certain ingredient for dinner and a movie theater around the corner may be just what you need to keep the kids entertained on rainy days. If you see commercial property for sale in your neighborhood, that could either indicate that it is an area about to experience positive growth or its one that has recently experienced a surge of businesses closing. Do some research into the economic history of the neighborhood to determine whether or not it will be a suitable place for your family to live long-term.
Be realistic about renovations
As we’ve mentioned in this article, you would be very lucky to end up buying a house in Las Vegas that meets all of your requirements and preferences without having to change anything at all. Renovations are an expected part of the homebuying process, especially if you don’t want to compromise on items on your wish list.
While many people dread the thought of putting more work into a house they just bought, renovations can be the key to creating your perfect home. If you relish the idea of rolling up your sleeves and having a hand in creating your dream home, buying a house in Las Vegas that needs a little TLC could be right up your alley. Prospective owners with a creative flair may find that they really enjoyed creating custom signage for a kid’s room or re-tiling their entire bathroom. For those willing to put in this type of work, they can often also see a reduction in the price of the house.
However, every family is different and you may not have the know-how, time, or budget to commit to a long list of renovations. And that is perfectly okay. If you’re not inclined to tackle renovations, you must keep that in mind when househunting. You won’t want to commit to fixing up an entire kitchen just to get that pool the kids want so badly. This balancing act is often one of the hardest parts for homebuyers to manage, but you have to do it if you want to end up in the right house for your needs and abilities.
Contact a real estate agent
While you can find a home and purchase it without the help of a real estate agent, it makes buying a house in Las Vegas much more difficult. A professional realtor knows the housing market in their area and has gone through the home buying process many more times than you have. This gives them the experience and knowledge necessary to help you find your perfect home.
A real estate agent can also advise you on whether or not your wish list is achievable. With their expertise, they’ll be able to help you manage your expectations of what you can find in a home. They will also have access to the tools to help you find the homes that best fit your list of needs and wants.
Once you’re ready to make an offer on a house, your real estate agent will handle the majority of the paperwork, communication, and negotiations for you. As this is often the most complicated part of the process, it’s strongly recommended that you leave it to the professionals. When you’re negotiating contracts for the home, you can also hire an attorney to ensure that you haven’t overlooked anything that will come back to negatively affect you later.
Deciding on a home
After you’ve worked with a real estate agent to view different homes that fit your lists, you need to choose which one you want. While many people view this as an exciting part of the process (and it is!) others dread having to make this choice. Choosing a home to live in is more complicated than deciding on your car insurance provider or which vet you bring your cat to; You can change your mind on those decisions but backing out of a house you’ve bought is much harder.
When you’re buying a house in Las Vegas and making your final decision, don’t be afraid to make a pros and cons list. It’s a common decision-making method for a reason. It can be a wonderfully visual and logical way to see which house will suit your family best. With a pros and cons list for each possible home, you can also determine the areas in which you’re willing to compromise and those you’re not.
Take your time with this decision and remember to get the rest of your family’s opinions as well. Be careful of ruminating over the decision for too long, however, especially if there are other interested buyers. They could place an offer while you’re weighing all of the pros and cons, beating you in the race to get the house.
Buying a house in Las Vegas is a major undertaking. You will have a lot of factors to consider and decisions to make throughout it. By following these steps, you’ll be able to thoughtfully figure out which home is right for you and start the great journey of finally living there.