With so many high-end real estate properties taking the spotlight, it is easy to get the impression that only people with a lot of money can afford to own their own home. However, you can have a standard income level and still have the opportunity to buy a home that will have mortgage payments within the range of what you pay for rent. The key is knowing how to track down those more affordable home listings. Of course, your first plan of action should be to enlist the help of a real estate agent as you get started on your search. Here are a few other keys to finding the most affordable new home.
1. Broaden your search area.
It may be no surprise that homes within city limits can sometimes be more costly. Properties closer to metro areas are often in higher demand, which means their prices may be higher. As you get serious about finding an affordable home, consider broadening your search area to encompass areas outside of the city limits. Your real estate agent can help you find listings just outside of city limits that may be more within your price range. Plus, you do have to keep in mind that home costs can be extremely different from one part of a state to the next.
2. Look for homes that may need a little handy work.
Sellers who are looking for a quick sale may have a real estate agent list their home without doing a lot of work on the property in advance. These "short-sale" homes may need some of the most basic upgrades, such as new flooring or a new coat of paint. Such small issues are usually no big deal to a buyer looking for a home at a good price, so stay alert for listings tagged with things like "motivated seller" or "fixer-upper."
3. Check out homes with smaller lot sizes.
Not always, but in many cases, houses planted on smaller tracts of land will have a more conservative price point. You will see a higher price for a home on three acres than you will see for a home with just one, for example. Your chosen real estate agent can help you sift through listings to find houses that do not have a lot of land space that goes with them. Keep in mind that even a small lot can still yield you an attractive backyard or outdoor living space.