It’s impossible to measure the excitement that comes with buying a house. Even one look at the “perfect” home will have you dreaming about the memories you hope to create in the future. But make no mistake about it — the home buying journey can be complicated at times.

That’s why we suggest educating yourself about the process ahead of time. The last thing you want is to end up either in the wrong house or broke. So spend some time figuring out whether it makes sense to purchase a home in the first place.

Here are the questions you must ask before placing an offer on a residence.

How much house can I afford?

Say you’re tired of paying your landlord’s mortgage. In an effort to stop renting as soon as possible, you begin browsing listed homes for sale in Denver. While it may be smart to see what’s available, the reality is that you’re skipping ahead in the process.

Put your mind at ease and determine your housing budget before doing anything else. This means working with a lender who can get you pre-approved. A pre-approval letter tells you how much home you’re able to afford and gives you a competitive advantage.

What’s the condition?

Think back to the last time you bought a car. Sure, the price had to be right and it probably needed to have certain features. But the condition of the vehicle was likely just as, if not more, important. 

The same holds true when buying a house. Why commit to a 30-year mortgage on a property that hasn’t been maintained over the years? Remember to ask for an inspection and that you have every right to walk away from a home that requires costly repairs. 

Is it in a good location?

You’ve heard plenty of times that real estate is all about location. Depending on where you’re at in life, the location could be a deciding factor with your home. For example, you’ll want your home to be in a safe neighborhood and a good school district if you plan on having kids soon.

But what about if you’re recently retired and hoping to downsize? In this case, you would benefit from a home that’s near family and any doctor’s offices. To sum up, find a house that’s conducive to your lifestyle.

Will this be a starter home or forever home?

You should think long and hard about this question before making a decision. As a refresher, first-time buyers tend to favor starter homes for their affordability. Forever homes, meanwhile, are often more expensive yet have significantly more space.

Keep in mind that there’s no right or wrong answer here. You can still build equity while living in a starter home, especially in today’s market. Of course, you may also prefer to jump from renter to the owner of your dream home.

Still not sure which route to take? Then read our article dedicated to starter homes vs. forever homes. Again, no two home buying scenarios lead to the same result, so do what makes the most sense for you.

What needs to be replaced?

Perhaps you’re interested in an older house. The style, the size of the yard, the overall charm — it checks all the boxes. What you may not realize, though, is that homes require additional maintenance as they age. 

So how much should you be willing to replace after moving into a house? Well, unless you have unlimited funds, we advise steering clear of a home in need of a new roof. The cost to replace essential systems and appliances can break the bank as well.

Is it worth contacting a real estate agent?

Yes! A real estate agent will not only show you homes within your price range, but also negotiate on your behalf. This person should ultimately be your advocate and keep you from having to take on unnecessary stress.

Now for the follow-up question: what sets one realtor apart from another? Well, it starts with experience and communication. You deserve to work with a real estate agent who understands your goals and will go above and beyond to help you achieve them.

The right agents for the job

At American Home Agents, we treat our clients like family. Whether you’re buying your first, next, or forever home, you can count on us to simplify the process. We have decades of combined experience, and we know the Front Range inside and out.

Let’s get you on the path toward homeownership. Call American Home Agents at (303) 695-5900.