House Hunting Tips
Monday Feb 26th, 2018
First of all, congratulations on making the decision to buy a home! Whether it’s your first time buying a home or you’ve done this before, it is definitely an exciting time and there is so much to look forward to!
Now, let me get one thing out of the way. Before I give you the tips, here’s where you should be at the moment:
- You are saving your cash
- You’ve set a budget
- You checked your credit score
- You determined the mortgage you can afford to pay each month
- You have your eye on specific areas of interest
Get your budget and preapproval in place, this is your starting point, do not get tempted to start this process before these two essential aspects. Looking at houses, whether online or offline, is a waste of your time if you don’t know how much you will be spending on the house.
So What Are You Looking For In A House?
- While you may never find every single thing you need in one house, you can still find most of what you need, that’s why it’s good to predetermine those needs prior to the start of your search. Do you want a single or double story house? How many rooms? Any specific architectural style?
- Identify your wants vs your needs. Needs are things that you MUST have, like the number of rooms for example, whereas wants can be flexible, such as tile color that can easily be replaced.
- Make two lists. On the first one, write down the things you won’t compromise about having in your new home, and on the second one write down everything you are willing to give up if you find a beautiful house within your exact budget.
- Be realistic, regardless of what your budget is, try not to paint a specific picture in your head prior to house-hunting because it can limit your possibilities and choices. Rather, wait until you’ve seen a few houses and compare them to your wants and needs list.
- Find the right real estate agent. Remember that a good agent has done this hundreds of times before, they can save you time and money matching you with what you really want. They can find and coordinate showings, evaluate the seller’s asking price and negotiate a good deal on your behalf.
- Ask if its ok to take your own photos of the houses you are being showed. There’s almost always an online directory and pictures of the houses you are looking at, but taking your own pictures can let you focus and remember what’s important to YOU in a house.
- Pay attention to other aspects too, like the neighborhood, neighbors and surroundings and ask yourself if this is the atmosphere you want to be a part of.
- Try to visit the same house twice, there’s something about the second time that is more realistic and eye opening than the first visit.
Once you’ve made your decision, your real estate agent will walk you through the rest of the process. It’s an exciting change so enjoy it each step of the way.