In your hunt for just the right house, it’s a little too easy to get spun up in your head: am I being too picky? Am I not being picky enough? Let’s not rush… but this is taking too long!
House hunting doesn’t have to be an agonizing process. Let us help you make the process easy and – dare we say? – maybe even fun. Here is your house hunting checklist for the savvy homebuyer.
Identify your Deal Makers and Deal Breakers
Going into your home buying adventure without a clear list of what makes a Yes and what makes a No is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. Before you get googly-eyed over a beautiful view out the kitchen window, what about the bathroom with only a stand-up shower?
Write out the elements of a home that are most important to you, and then write out what you’ve identified as a no-can-do. Share them with your realtor. For example, you could probably overlook a carpet (you can rip that up later), but an open-hearth fireplace would be a more difficult thing to get rid of if you don’t want it.
Use all of your resources before scheduling a viewing
House hunting tips for the modern era: get online and examine your potential new neighborhood before making the trip. What are the nearby homes like? What does the home look like from the street view? How close is it to the road, or to the nearby highway? Realtors are skilled at making a home look extra attractive with strategic photos, so make sure you have an accurate sense of its location before scheduling the viewing. It might just save you some time – and some house hunting mistakes.
Think outside of the box
Once you have established what you want and what you don’t, you may find that your dream house could look different than you originally thought. It might be in a neighborhood you hadn’t thought about, or your realtor might show you a home that initially seems like it’s not what you’d envisioned – be open to letting it inspire you with elements you didn’t know you wanted. While it is important to be specific about what you want, it is also important to not get too narrow-minded about possibilities.
Know who your property team is ahead of time
Sometimes the house of your dreams shows up and requires that you move quickly.
- Choose your inspector ahead of time and have the funds ready to pay for it. This will ensure that you’re ready to bid decisively and get the process moving without the delays of needing to find a suitable inspector
- Meet with your bank to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Not only will this help you determine what price range you can afford and how much money you should save ahead of time, but it will also prepare you to move quickly when it’s time to buy.
Take your time
When you walk through the home the first time, let yourself get a general feel. Take in the sights and sounds on a more whole-house level and see how it feels when you imagine it as your new home. Then, go back to the front door and walk through with your pen, paper, list of Yes and No elements, and your critical eye. Look in all of the rooms, open closets and cupboards, and ask your agent if you can take some photos to review later. Don’t worry about really taking the time to look around! Buying a new home is an endeavor worth savoring.