Once you have decided you want to buy a home, you will probably contact a real estate agent and make an appointment to start looking at homes for sale. Before you do this, you should sit down and make a list of the things you absolutely need in the house. Generally, this will include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and how large the other rooms need to be. On a separate list, write the things you would really like to have, such as a fireplace, garage, or extra storage space. On a third list, write the things you would like but are not that important, such as a pool, covered patio, or spare bedroom. As you go through the different homes for sale, keep your lists in mind. Here are a few other things you need to keep in mind.
You must stick to your budget even if it means giving up a few of the things you want. It can be very tempting to buy a house that is going to cost you more than you can very comfortably afford. In fact, it would be best for you to go with a house that costs less but is missing more of your wants, as long as it has what you need. Carefully consider how much the extras add to the price of the house vs how important they are to you or how much it would cost to add these extras yourself.
Sure, it would be great to buy a house that looks great and doesn't need any work to it. However, you can always make improvements to the house once you have bought it. Think about it, home sellers may pay to have the house painted or some repairs done knowing that it will increase the selling price more than what they had to pay for the work to be done. Do not worry about paint colors, flooring, or any interior finishings; these can always be changed to fit what you want after you move in.
You want a home to be comfortable and a happy place. If you go over your budget so you can have things you want but not necessarily need, you will then have to spend more time working to make the money to pay your mortgage. You will be more stressed and not as happy as you could be. Besides, working on the place yourself to make it exactly what you want can be fun and add a sense of pride and accomplishment to your new home.