This is the second part of a series directed at new buyers thinking of buying a home in Iowa City. You may be relocating to Iowa City or a first time home buyer. You might even be both! My last post covered the importance of talking to a lender to get pre-approved before you go looking at homes. Today I want to look at your Wants, Needs and Wishes List. This list will contain factors about your new home that are absolutely necessary and others you can compromise on.
Before you start looking at homes you should at least have some idea of what you’re looking for. The alternative is viewing any and all homes and even though that might sound exciting, it gets old really quick! I guarantee that after looking at 10 homes that are of zero interest to you that you’ll feel like packing the whole idea in and staying put!
So How do you go about Compiling a Wants Needs and Wishes List?
The first thing you want to address is the factors that are set in stone and absolutely necessary to your quality of life when you buy a home. Location is top of the list on this one. If you’re Relocating to Iowa City I know you don’t know the area, but you do know where you will be spending your days and where you need to commute to. I’ve helped dozens of relocating buyers in the last few years and haven’t met anyone yet who wants a long commute to work!
Staying on the topic of deciding a location for your new home. If you have young children this may play a major role in where you want buy a home. In fact when it comes to deciding on a location for your new home you should consider all the amenities you need to be near to on a daily basis. Schools, parks, grocery stores, fitness centers. Whatever is important to you. I for instance live in Coralville. When I relocated to the US my husband worked in Cedar Rapids and my sons were students at the University of Iowa. This was a perfect location, close to the Interstate for the commute to Cedar Rapids and a real easy 10 minute commute to downtown Iowa City and the UIOWA.
At the same time you’re thinking about WHERE you want to be you should be looking at what amenities you need in a home itself. Condos and low maintenance living are popular choices for Residents Relocating to Iowa City. Not surprising considering their busy work schedules. If you have children you’ll probably want a yard and the condo idea falls flat. In fact if you have children the bedrooms become a much bigger issue too. Where do they need to be? If you have small children you’ll want them on the same level. If they’re older they may want to weigh in on the decision and having their own space may be more of a factor.
Iowa City is a very transient town and many of the folks buying a home here will be relocating to Iowa City. For that reason I want to touch briefly on home prices in Iowa City. Just like any other area, school districts have a big impact on home prices in Iowa City and can vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood. Add the UIOWA and the UI Hospitals to the mix and you have two additional factors that impact pricing in a big way. To make my point, you will have a really hard time finding a 3 bedroom 2 bath home for $150,000 within walking distance of the UIOWA or UI Hospitals. The chances are slim to none. When you make your list you need to be aware of the reality on the ground and adjust and tweak it accordingly. It’s a list. You can change it any time. What it does is get you thinking about what’s REALLY important to you and what isn’t.
Deciding to buy a home in Iowa City is a major commitment under any circumstances. And when you’re relocating you need all the help you can get. I’m all about streamlining the process and making it as efficient as possible. Prior planning will go a long way to making you more comfortable about the decisions you make on the way to homeownership. I’m also a big believer in Buyer Agency. If you’re looking for a good buyer’s agent to represent you in what is one of the biggest transactions of your life, drop me a line or give me a call. I’m here to help!
Buying a Home in Iowa City: Step by Step Guide to the Home Buying Process