The right home is the one that’s right for you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
You’re the one living in it day to day, the one maintaining it and improving upon it. Most importantly, you’re the one paying for it. So really, don’t you want to treat it as a labor of love, and not just “another job”?
You’ll know THE home when you see it. Rarely does a home check off ALL boxes, but hopefully it checks off enough that you don’t have to think twice about seeing yourself living there.
When it comes to budgeting, ask yourself: “What am I comfortable spending on a monthly basis for a home?” Keep in mind it’s also a best practice to stay cash liquid enough to have an emergency fund.
I like to play a game of Fantasy Home, kind of like the REALTOR version of fantasy sports games. You see a home come on the market for X dollars, knowing that it falls under Y, what you qualified for. However, where will that price point of X put you financially, and will you be comfortable in that area? If yes, then you know that’s a price point or window you should be considering. If the answer is no, then now you know it’s time to trim down that budget to something more in your comfort zone.
After a few homes and rounds of playing this game – itemizing and breaking down the list of expenses making up your monthly payments – you’ll find that it’ll become second nature for you to know whether or not a home that may have caught your eye is well within that comfort range you’re looking at.