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Don’t Sacrifice Style for Budget

July 8, 2013

in Home Buying Guide | Tagged , , , , , ,

When it comes to searching for your perfect home, you don’t have to sacrifice style for budget. Your hunt for your dream home should not be limited by your financial situation, no matter how much or how little you have to spend. Here are three ways you can maximize your housing’s style on your limited budget.

Allocate a Portion of Your Budget to Upgrades

Don't sacrifice style for budget when househuntingOne of the most important things to keep in mind when buying a home is its potential. If you are able to get past a home’s unpleasant décor, poor cabinet choices, or some fabulous ‘80s wall-to-wall carpeting, you will notice the positive aspects of your potential home that might have otherwise been clouded by a swarm of poor interior design choices.

In terms of urban renovation (see this shining example), it’s important to take note of what you can and cannot change. For example, renovating kitchen cabinets or putting in hardwood floors is completely feasible, but having to rip out and replace entire walls or windows due to rot or water damage is not. Does a home have a nursery but not the office space you are looking for? Don’t write off the home completely, but rather estimate how much work it would take to convert the nursery into an office.

When investing in a home, allocating a portion of your budget to potential and manageable renovations can greatly improve and expand your options. The more properties you have to choose from, the higher the chance of finding your dream home (even if it needs a bit of a face lift before it becomes the beauty it has the potential to be).

Expand Locations of Interest

It is important to know your local market well if you want to maximize what you can get for your limited housing budget. It may allow for a small, run-down condo in one neighborhood, while it could get you a spacious, well-maintained suburban home in another. Assign value to short commute times, low crime rates and proximity to restaurants, shopping and nightlife while you are househunting and determine how much more money you are willing to pay or each.

Shopping for a home can be a little overwhelming, and there are some things you can only learn from professionals. It can never hurt to educate yourself a bit about the real estate market. This can be extremely beneficial in getting the most bang for your buck, not to mention it can also help you from getting scammed. Helpful information can come from talking to other homebuyers or trusted professionals. Sometimes the best recommendations come through word of mouth from people in a similar position to yours.

Keep Emotions in Check

While shopping for homes is exciting, it is important not to become too emotionally invested in any one home. There are many housing options options available to you, but there are also many buyers that you will be forced to compete against. In the tough seller’s markets found throughout the U.S., it’s quite possible your offers won’t get accepted.

That being said, don’t let yourself fall in love with the first home you tour. Keep your options open but hold your ground. Know what is available, and know what you are capable of renovating, if necessary. If you educate yourself and do your research, finding the home you want will be a lot more attainable than you might think.

This guest post was written by Anna Ralph, a home and finance writer with a knack for good design on a budget. She’s written for various online design and finance publications.

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