handy-checklist-while-looking-for-homes

House hunting can be amazing but don’t get caught up in the glamour of buying a new house.

House hunting can be so much fun. Going to open houses, touring potential homes and imagining yourself living in a new place can be amazing. The staging of the home is perfect. This might be the place! Before you fall head over heels don’t forget that the home needs to be lived in and maintained and your belongings will occupy that space. Keep these 5 tips in mind and take our handy checklist with you. The checklist will allow you to keep track of some important things you might miss. Take a few tours, keep track of them on the checklists and compare before you decide. Having data and notes in front of you is incredibly helpful to you when deciding which home will become yours.

 

5 Tips to keep in mind when house hunting for your soon to be home:

 

Get a preliminary pre-approval.

Nothing is worse for a buyer than house hunting without a realistic idea of what you can afford. Before you get out and hit the web or the pavement looking for a home (or even better work with a reputable real estate agent to find you the perfect home) take a few minutes and complete a full pre-approval with us. Quick phone app pre-quals are a short and dirty way to get a general idea but if you have any sort of non-traditional income, are self-employed or might have a little more debt than you’d like your suggested home price may be flawed. You can read a myriad of reviews online for bigger box retail lenders that tell horror stories of the woes of buyers that have had issues with their approval and communication. We always suggest getting a solid pre-approval

Take your agent with you.

Did you know that you can use the same real estate agent to go house hunting for homes? Most people are under the assumption they should call the number listed on the “for sale” sign if they are interested in viewing that particular home. This is not the case at all! In fact, you are better off using the same real estate agent throughout your entire home shopping process so your agent can become familiar with your likes, dislikes, wants and needs. Any real estate agent can show you any home listed by any agent, even if it’s not their listing. If you’d like to see a home, give the info to your agent and let them get some preliminary details and set up a time to go look at properties. They’ll have a great idea of extra things to consider while touring your home. Not sure who to trust when you are looking for a Realtor? We can help. We have an invaluable network of 

Don’t be afraid to test some things out.

Take the home for a bit of a test drive. See if you’re allowed to turn on faucets, see how drains work, take a look at the thermostat etc. What do the storage spaces look like? Is there any organization in place already or will you have to take that on once you move in? Make sure you ask about all appliances and systems in the house to assure they work. Is there a security system? Generator? How do they work? Can the maintenance and services be transferred to you when you purchase the home? What are the current residents using for utilities? Do they have an estimated monthly amount for those utilities? Is there a way for you to make the home more efficient?These are great things to consider outside of just how the home looks and feels.

Take a hard look at the outside.

Don’t just be happy with walking through the home. Take a good look at the outside and surroundings as well. What is the drainage like? Look at things like the exterior of windows and doors to examine their condition and see if they might need to be replaced. The inspection will take care of the “necessary” review of these to see if they pass but there might be a need beyond what is inspected. Consider what type of maintenance the surrounding landscaping might need and if the homeowner contracts someone to do that for them make sure you get an estimate of the cost and get in touch to make the transition to your new home easier.

Be mindful of the neighborhood.

Do your research ahead of time. Be mindful of the area and the surrounding support structure of the neighborhood. Is there any industry around that might disrupt your daily life? Take a look at schools, crime rates, and a few blocks in either direction as well. What stores will you be able to visit? What type of late night emergency options and medical support are available in the neighborhood? These are all critical factors to your happiness that might not be considered as part of the home itself.

 

When you head out on the hunt make sure you take our FREE handy checklist with you. You can save this to your computer, print it multiple times and use as you view potential homes

As always, contact me should you have any questions!

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