Buying a new home, especially if it is your first home can be an exciting and stressful time. Where to start your search can be a tough decision if you don’t have any experience investing in real estate. Getting the help that you need has to start with you making a few key decisions about the kind of home that you really want.

There are many things to consider when you are looking for a new home that goes beyond just the price tag. Buying a house is a huge commitment, so you want to make sure that you end up with the home and neighborhood that fits you best.

Whether you are looking to increase your space, downsize after retirement or move into a new neighborhood, you will need to start with home insurance quotes from Allstate or any insurance company and then follow these tips to help you start your search for a new home.

Know Your Priorities

One of the first things you should do before you start your home search is to make yourself a “wish list”. Write down all the things that you want from your new home. You can even divide it into two categories; “must-have” items and features and “would be nice” items. For example, you may be able to live without marble countertops as long as your kitchen is functional for your needs. Or, you might be willing to sacrifice a walk in closet in the main bedroom if the size of the room is generous to make room for sufficient storage.

Don’t forget to include things on your list like the number of bedrooms that you want, the size of your desired lot, and how far you are willing to commute to work. You may think you have found the house of your dreams, but if these basic things aren’t met then you may have some regret down the line.

Unless you are building a custom home where you have full control over the design you need to be prepared to make some compromises. Have your “must-haves” set in your mind but be flexible about some of the smaller things.

Get Pre-Approved

Before you start your search, make a trip to your financial institution and arrange for a mortgage pre-approval. This will give you a much better and more realistic view of the budget that you will be working with.

Home sellers and real estate agents will know that you are a serious buyer if you show up with a pre-approval. This can also make it easier to put offers on the properties that you really love without any delay waiting for your financing.

You don’t want to end up finding your dream home and then quickly finding out that you can’t get the financing for the cost. Pre-approval will also tell buyers and agents that you are serious about your inquiries.

Online & Physical Searches

If you have a neighborhood in mind that you would love to move into there is nothing wrong with taking a tour. Get in the car and visit the area to see what is randomly available. This will give you an idea of the average costs in the neighborhood and help you to work out your budget.

It’s also a good idea to visit the area at different times of the day. This can give you a realistic look at daily activity, traffic and nightlife in the area before you make your final decision. You can also ditch the car and take a stroll around the new neighborhood. Take a few minutes to chat with neighbors and get a better idea about what it is truly like to live in the area.

Once you have your financing and an idea of where you would like to live it’s time to hit the internet. Online searches are easy and can give you many details about homes for sale well before you even take a tour. In many cases, you may be able to take a “virtual tour” and get a birds-eye view of a property without ever stepping inside.

Find An Agent

It is possible to find a house that you like without the help of a real estate agent, but it will take a lot of effort, knowledge, and legwork to find the right property. When you team up with a qualified and professional realtor, you can hand most of the work over to them. Finding and buying the home of your dreams can be stressful so it’s wise to get the help that you need from the people who have the most experience.


Buying a new home can be a huge undertaking and the process itself can be pretty intimidating, especially if it is your first home. Get organized and take a logical approach to find what you really need and want. Be prepared to make some sacrifices but, in the end, with the right research and by following these easy tips you will be on your way to owning your dream home.