Each year, thousands of people look to get out of the rental market once and for all. And it’s for a good reason — rent is incredibly expensive.
In Kalispell alone, the median cost of rent is about $928 and all you get for that money is a place to live. You can’t customize your home and you’re not building equity in the house with those high monthly payments.
Buying a house is an investment in your future. But finding the perfect Kalispell home to call your own can seem like a challenge.
Here are a few tips to help you find a home you’ll love.
There are dozens of different types of architectural styles available in Kalispell. Drive around town and notice them.
If any features or designs stand out from the rest, make a note of them. You can also take a picture of the home exterior to help you keep track of those features.
Then, when you start your house hunt in earnest, you’ll have a firm idea of what you like and what you don’t. This can help narrow down the types of homes you’re interested in touring and gives your real estate agent a better idea of what you’re looking for.
When looking at homes, it’s easy to fall in love with houses you can’t afford. Save yourself the trouble and set a firm budget before you start looking.
Think about how much money you’re willing to spend and how much cash you have saved up for a down payment. Remember, the average homebuyer needs to have at least 20 percent of the purchase price ready to use as a down payment.
Once you have a number in mind, start looking into home mortgage lenders. Get quotes from multiple lenders and see who offers you the highest amount at the lowest interest rate.
Ultimately, the amount of mortgage you’re approved for will determine how much you can realistically spend. As a general rule, avoid looking at homes priced higher than your pre-approval amount. This way, you won’t fall in love with something that you simply can’t afford.
Even the perfect house won’t be your dream home if it’s in a bad location. This doesn’t mean you should just focus on the crime rate — you need to think about how convenient the location is to the places you visit most.
Ideally, your perfect home should be close to work, school, your grocery store, or any place you go to frequently. No one wants to move to a new house only to discover that they’ve increased their daily commute by half an hour.
Narrow down your search to neighborhoods that you like and are convenient for your needs. If you have to, you can always expand your search, but it’s best to start small and explore the options in areas where you truly want to live.
Your needs will change over time, so look at homes that can grow with you rather than ones that fit your needs right now.
If you’re planning on having kids, start looking for floorplans with multiple bedrooms. If you’re planning on starting a home business, look for a home that has enough space to let you work comfortably.
Remember, the average person stays in their home for about 13.3 years. The more your home can grow with your needs, the longer you’ll be able to stay in it.
When you’re touring a home, you’re seeing the décor, style, and preferences of the builder or previous homeowner. This can make it hard to picture your family and your belongings in the space.
Use your imagination. When you step into a room think about what it would look like with your furniture and decorations inside. Close your eyes if you have to.
There’s no right or wrong way to go about visualizing yourself as the homeowner.
If after touring the property you feel that you can easily see yourself living there for years to come, put the home on your shortlist.
When it comes to buying most things, buying used will always save you money. The same isn’t necessarily true of houses.
In fact, when you buy an older house, you’re often buying underlying problems and inefficient appliances that cost money to fix. Over the duration of your homeownership, this could cost you thousands of dollars.
When you buy new, you know that you’re getting the most energy-efficient technology on the market. And you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that the home is both up to current building code and can be properly maintained as long as you own it.
Even better, buying new may not cost more than an older home. In some instances, you’ll get a bigger and better house for less money than you’d spend on a piece of historic architecture close to downtown.
When you buy a house, you’re not just buying the property — you’re buying into the community. If the community doesn’t have the types of things you enjoy, you won’t get as much out of the home as you’d like.
When searching for your dream home, take the community amenities into consideration. If your kids love going to the park, look for a neighborhood that provides a stellar playground.
If fitness is a priority for you, search for a community that has a network of multi-use paths so you can get your workouts in close to home.
The more amenities your community offers, the easier it will be for you to feel at home.
Finding the right Kalispell home to call your own doesn’t have to be a challenge. Think about the features you want, the ones you need, and the location that fits your habits.
Once you’re ready to start touring properties, drop us a line. Whether you’re looking for a beautiful single-family townhome or want a stand-alone house that your family can grow into, we have the perfect home for your needs.