House hunting might seem like an easy thing. You go online, search for a home and put in an offer, but there are some key steps you need to consider when you’re entering the real estate market. Here are eight house hunting tips you might want to consider before starting your home search.
- Take an honest look your personal finances before you start your search.
Understanding your personal financial situation is the first step in finding your dream house. You will need to know how much you can contribute to a mortgage payment, the cost of maintaining a home, and also if you have any liquid funds to contribute to settlement costs. Don’t skip this step because you don’t want to fall in love with a house just to discover you can’t afford to live there.
- Think about the various types of properties you’re interested in and list all the home amenities and features you want and need in a new residence.Buying a home is an investment not only for your money but also your time, as most buyers expect to live in a home they purchased a minimum of five years. It is a good idea to determine the type and style of home you want to purchase, and also ‘must haves’ the home should have from the start. It’s also important to consider those items that you could potentially add on in the future or change.
- Partner with a REALTOR® from the beginning of your search.
This might seem like a step you can skip until you find a house you want to put an offer in, but a good REALTOR® is more than just someone who will fill out the paperwork. Using a REALTOR® will give you first access to great properties, allow another person to negotiate on your behalf, and partner you with professionals you’ll need throughout the buying process.
- Don’t settle for only seeing one or two houses a week.
The market is more competitive than in the past few years. Get your REALTOR® to schedule several showings and visit as many open houses as possible to find the right listing. With more buyers than listings, the competition is more competitive than in past years, it is important to be aggressive in your search.
- Know the area you’re willing to buy a property to help you narrow down your home search.
The one thing you will not be able to change about your home is the location, so you need to make sure that the area you’re thinking about buying in is one that you will love living in. Consider things like schools, distance to work, and retail stores close by. Location of your home search might not be an area you want to settle on, so speak with your REALTOR® to prioritize your search.
- If you spot a listing you love don’t sit, visit it asap!
The market is picking up and listings are limited so you want to stay ahead of other buyers. If there is a house that meets your needs, is in the location you desire, and is in your price range, don’t wait. Put in a competitive offer, your REALTOR® should also guide you on other ways to make your offer more attractive to sellers.
- Don’t limit yourself to “traditional homes.”
Buyers might love established neighborhoods, but think about your home purchase in terms of your lifestyle. Purchasing a home in a new homes site, a condo, or townhouse community can mean low maintenance, customization options, and amenities like pools, clubhouses, and dog parks that more established neighborhoods might not offer. So make sure to check out new homesites, condos, and townhouses with your REALTOR® as well.
- Work side by side with your REALTOR® and provide any information they need so your home search can move quickly.
The relationship you have with your REALTOR® is one that needs to be built on trust. This is one of the reasons we recommend you sign a Buyer’s Broker Agreement so that your rights are protected. It is also important that you are being upfront with your needs because it will help your REALTOR® find you a great home sooner.
We’d love to know what you thought about these tips and do you have any to offer yourself?
Loved This Article? Here are a Few More We Recommend: