Think Before You Shop For a New O’fallon Home


Today we are going to be discussing: The pitfalls of home shopping prior to taking the big picture into consideration.

Why is looking at homes before you’ve thought about what you want to buy dangerous?

It starts innocently enough… you pass a house in a neighborhood you like, you hear someone is selling their home, you happen to look up home prices online. Before you know it, you’re knee-deep in home shopping and visiting open houses. This can actually be exceedingly dangerous to your financial future.

Falling in love with a home before you actually know what you want in a home is risky. To avoid the “buy first, think later” syndrome that burdens family finances, marriages, and work life, ask yourself these important questions:

1. How much do we want to spend each month on home expenses? There’s a tendency for people to shop first to try and “make the math work” after purchasing a home. Often this leads to stretching the home budget and ignoring crucial expenses such as maintenance and property taxes in order to “make the mortgage.” Determine a comfortable, conservative range for home expenses first.

2. Which neighborhoods make sense from multiple angles? You may love a neighborhood for its leafy streets and family-friendly atmosphere, but what if it adds thirty minutes to your commute? Are the schools good? What are the crime stats like? What’s the walkability score? Don’t view a neighborhood with rose-colored glasses based on a single quality you like.

3. What’s a priority and what’s a nice extra? You may think you want extra bedrooms for guests and a home office, but which one is more important? Rank the must haves against the “nice to haves.”

4. What’s our long-term ownership picture look like? Are you settling in for ten years, or do you suspect you’ll need to move in four? While you can’t predict the future, you can make some estimates. Those estimates will help you understand how much home you should buy, what kind of down-payment you’ll want to have, and what the picture might look like in terms of renovations. If you need repairs, you should check out this company that does an amazing underfloor heating repair and other services for you to choose from depending on your needs.

5. When can you move vs. when would you like to move? Rental leases, selling your current home, and job and schooling factors all impact the timeline for a purchase. Wrap your head around the pragmatic timeline as best you can.

I’m more than happy to help you think these through. Just Call me, Mike Cribbin at 314-954-6500 or drop me an email at mike@cribbinrealty.com.