How much of your day is spent looking at houses online?
It’s pretty common for most people to grab a phone or a laptop to search listings when they are in the market for a new home. The sheer number of available properties can result in hours spent perusing pictures and jumping from one listing to the next. You can save yourself time and effort by using the right filters to search for homes in Norman.
Affordability is a key factor when you’re looking for a home to purchase. Calculating your home buying budget requires knowing your after-tax earnings, monthly expenses, savings available for a down payment, what you can pay for utilities and property taxes and create a maintenance safety net.
When you complete a full budget assessment, then you can spend time defining your budget range. A good rule of thumb is your home shouldn’t cost more than 2.5 times your annual salary. So, if you earn $100,000 annually, then your home shouldn’t cost more than $250,000. However, you’ll also need to take into account all the other variables such as additional expenses like a new car or a recreational vehicle.
The next major filter to consider is location. Norman has a little bit of everything. Near the University of Oklahoma, you’ll enjoy the convenience of getting to walk to the next game, or if you have kids, they can live at home while they attend college. Near Thunderbird Lake, you can enjoy everything country living has to offer.
Drive around town and get a feel for the different sections of the community. There are sprawling suburbs, unique historic homes, and spacious properties. What matters most to you? When you’re driving, bring a partner or friend to take notes of your favorite places. Also, keep an eye out for nearby amenities. For example, schools, eaterys and shopping.
3. Work Commute
How long do you want to spend in the car driving to and from work every day? A long commute could impact your quality of life, but you might like a daily drive in exchange for not living in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the town.
If you find a house you really love, then take a drive from the home to your work in the morning and evening. Are there any major traffic concerns, would an otherwise 20-minute drive really be an hour because of congestion? You don’t want to buy a home only to learn you hate your daily commute after you’ve moved in.
Price plays a pretty big role when it comes to preferences, so it’s important to nail down your budget before you make the final decision on how many rooms, bathrooms and square footage you’d prefer.
A bigger home will cost more in monthly expenses and annual taxes. Conversely, you might be forced to upgrade from a smaller home if you plan on growing your family. Would you rather commit to small-house living or a big sprawling property you’ll need to maintain?
Similar to preferences, you’ll want to know how many acres you’d want on your property. Your answer will likely be guided by both your price range and the ideal location. You can’t live in the heart of the town and have a sprawling 15-acre ranch while also maintaining affordability.
You should consider how much time you’re willing to dedicate to outside maintenance, especially during the spring and summer months.
In your search for a home, you’ll probably run into a few foreclosure options. You might want to filter these out if you're on a tight schedule. However, if you have flexibility, it’s sometimes an opportunity to find the home you want at a good price. You’ll have to consider how much time you’d want to dedicate to renovations or repairs if needed.
Navigating financing for a foreclosure can be tricky too. Depending on the state of the property, you might have to be creative with your financing options. Typically, if you’re a first time home buyer or you don’t want to take on a massive renovation project, you might want to avoid foreclosures.
7. New Construction
On the other side of the spectrum from foreclosures is new construction. These are also great if you’re not on a tight timeline. One benefit of new construction is you have a say in the color palette and design. And you shouldn’t have any major renovation projects or maintenance problems once it is completed.
However, you’ll miss out on mature trees, the property might cost more than an existing home, and it might not have the quirky architectural designs that come with older homes.
8. Homeowners Association
Some people love a good HOA, but others loathe having to pay a fee and agree to the community’s rules and standards related to the property. You’ll need to determine your preference early on because you won’t want to find your dream home only to realize later there is an HOA and you’d prefer not to have one.
Tip: There are plenty of great places to search online for your home, but listing sites are not always current. We keep our website constantly updated with the newest listings and removing any recently sold properties, so check out what Norman has to offer.
Do you need help filtering your home options in Norman? Call us to schedule a consultation or a tour of one of our listings at 405.310.2796.