The following update and discussion has been provided by Renee Kunz, office manager at Intero Real Estate in Hollister.
I know many home buyers have their "dream home" in mind. However, as we are all blessed to live in the Golden State, we do not always get what we want — affordability.The first place to start before you step foot into an open house is with a lender. You see, we can be the best Realtor in the world but if you cannot get a loan, we cannot help you! Also, say you go into a condo and you can afford a house or vice versa. Do not become disappointed by starting off the buying process by looking outside of your price point. If you cannot afford it, the lender will not lend to you.
The next thing to consider is the must haves. Do you need to be close to work? School? Family? I know we all have a list of what a property "should have" but remember to focus on the must-haves first. We can all get caught up in the photos you see on Houzz or Pinterest. If the house is structurally sound, you can always add paint, carpet, and remodel later.
Hence, as you embark on the American Dream, my advice to you is to have your plan, know your costs and know the average American stays in a home for six to nine years. Hence, if you cannot get the dream home today, you will be moving toward your dream home within six to nine years.