How to buy a home to remodel
There is a lot to know when buying a house. Add to that the planning of a remodel. There is a lot to look for in the home that you plan to remodel and while I'm not an expert, I'll share what I learned and what resources I used when going through the process in purchasing and remodeling our home.
Step 1. Know what you are getting into
Remodeling a home takes time and patience. There are a lot of steps in the process and you should plan on putting time and effort up front to define a list of all the things you want in your home. The list should start with all the criteria you would look for if you were just looking to buy a house without remodeling because let's face it, any home will have something you won't like or want.
Step 2. Budget
Know what you can spend and what you are willing to spend. There are plenty of mortgage calculators out there that will give you an idea based on income and expenses to understand just how much home you can afford. There are also a lot of government programs available to first time home buyers and incentives for purchasing foreclosed homes. I would recommend you work with a bank or lending institution to understand just how much you can spend on a house and get pre-approved for a loan by at least one institution before you go to the next step.
Step 3. Location
Location is one of the most important things in a buying a house. I know it's cliche but the location will define a lot of things for you. Location can cost you a lot or a little in the long run and there are plenty of trade offs. For example, we looked at homes in a west metro suburb and started to realize that the taxes in that suburb were quite higher than other areas of the city and it has fewer parks and other amenities. Location also impacts your commute to work and your lifestyle. Do you want a lot of land with few neighbors or do you want a smaller yard in a city neighborhood?
Step 4. Know what you want
This is one of the hardest parts about looking for a home. A lot of homes will look and feel nice but it may not fit the lifestyle you are wanting to live. There are a lot of options and choices to consider when buying a home and I would recommend you create a list of those options and prioritize them.
Knowing what you want in your home will help you decide on the homes you'll target in your search. This will save you a lot of time and effort getting these things figured out before you start looking at homes.
Step 5. Do research
Buying a home is one of the largest purchases you will ever make in your life. It pays to put in the time and effort up front to really know about what you are looking for in a house.
Start with some of the larger sites to do research. Zillow.com, Trulia.com, and Realtor.com are good starting points but I recommend after a little while focusing on a local site if possible. There are also a ton of smart phone apps that help you find homes too.
There are great tools online for finding information about about the various areas that you are considering living. You can find out about crime in your search area by using sites like SpotCrime.com and CrimeReports.com. You can also conduct general search for homes by using the national and local real estate sites.