Whether you’ve been slogging through your search for a while or you started house hunting yesterday, there’s one thing that every homebuyer has in common:
They know when they’ve found the house of their dreams.
But of course, just because you’ve found a house that makes you want to leave, pack up your belongings, and execute a same-day move, that doesn’t mean that you’ve discovered the house you should buy.
How do you know if you should make an offer? Are there any signals that can tell you if this house is “the one”?
If these questions sound familiar, you’re in luck. Here are four crystal clear signs that you may just found your future home.
Sign #1: You Can Afford It
From the outside looking in, this one might sound like common sense. After all, it isn’t exactly possible to buy a Jeff Bezos-level mansion on a thousandaire budget. But even so, the whole concept of being house poor exists largely because there’s often a difference between what you can afford on paper and what you can afford in practice.
And while some people are able to make the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle work for them, that isn’t a recipe for long-term financial stability. In a 15 or 20-year timeframe, people can go through job changes, tuition costs, or sudden illness.
So it all comes down to the question:
If you had to take a pay cut or to cover medical costs, would you still be able to afford the house at this price point?
Before you push your real estate agent to make an offer, it never hurts to look at the different factors that go into calculating your mortgage costs before asking yourself some hard questions about what you can afford.
Sign #2: It Makes Sense for Your Current and Future Lifestyle
Most people have a feature or two that they love, adore, and can’t get enough of when they’re looking at homes. Maybe you’re a sucker for jet tubs in the master bedroom. Perhaps you simply cannot deal with a house that doesn’t have an island countertop in the kitchen.
Regardless of your preferences, here’s the thing:
Sometimes when you’ve found a house that hits all the right notes, it’s easy to overlook important details. Are you planning to have two kids and a dog within five years? If the answer to that was “Yes”, that condo might not be a good fit for your long-term needs. Is the location of this house going to add hours to your daily commute? You may need to reconsider the neighborhood.
To be clear, one person’s “I don’t love this.” is another’s “I can make this work.”. But if you can see this house working for you both now and in the future, it could very well make sense to make an offer.
Sign #3: You’ve Already Started Mentally Moving In
Everyone has their own process when it comes to decorating. Some people love a bright and vibrant wall, while others prefer neutral tones and beige. At the end of the day, however, a house is more than just a house. It’s the place where you’ll be building memories for the next few years.
While real estate agents and interior decorators will do what they can to stage a property, they can’t force you to fall in love with a home if the feeling isn’t there. So if you walk in and you start instantly picturing your holiday decorations in the corner and your comfy rug in the living room, that could be a sign that your search for a home is over.
Sign #4: It’s Got That “It” Factor
There’s something about “It” factor that’s just impossible to miss. You could be just sitting around somewhere and minding your own business, but when that gifted actor hits the scene or that incredible singer comes on stage, you’re stunned to the point where you just can’t look away.
As odd as it might be to describe a house in those terms, sometimes you set foot on a property and you just know. If you’re drawn to a home and the price is right, sometimes it’s in your best interests to just go with it.
Get the House of Your Dreams Hassle-Free
According to SmallBizGenius, homebuyers look at an average of 10 properties before making a purchase. But even with that number in mind, you just never know when you’ll run into the property that knocks your socks off. If you can go in armed with the list of signs that we just gave you, however, you’ll be in prime position to recognize your future home when you see it.