One of the most exciting steps in the process of buying a home is house hunting. Most of us enjoy going into other people’s residences, poking around, checking out their layout and their decor, and dreaming about how we might make the place our own. It’s no surprise that real estate shows are so popular these days; house hunting, whether real or virtual, is fun!
It’s important to remember, however, that house hunting is also an important job… and while it’s certainly okay to have fun, you also need to be strategic, ensuring you see what you’re supposed to see and generate an informed decision about which houses you make an offer on (and which you don’t).
There’s a real art to house hunting, and in this post, we’ll break it down into a few specific tips.
As ever, if you have questions about the process of buying a house or the process of selling a house, you can always claim your SOLD.com report. Request yours right now!
The Best Approach to House Hunting
- Before you do anything else, get pre-approved for a mortgage. The worst thing that can happen to house hunters is that you stumble across your dream house, fall in love with it… and then realize that you can’t actually afford it. To avoid that happening, we recommend getting pre-approved for a mortgage. That way, you know how much you can spend, and can filter your search accordingly.
- Consider neighborhood and location. Something else that will help you narrow down your search is knowing roughly what neighborhood you want to be in, e.g., which school district, how close to work, etc. If you cast too wide a net, your house hunting could drag on forever. Narrow down your basic geographic focus before you head out looking at properties.
- Take some pictures as you go. It’s more than okay to bring your phone with you and take a few snapshots of the house, especially key details that you want to think about later on. You might assume you’ll remember everything about the house, but you won’t… especially not if you’re touring multiple homes on the same day. Take a picture of anything that strikes you as especially winsome or problematic.
- Remember not to sweat the small stuff. It’s easy to get bogged down in details but remember that some of the issues you see in a house could be very easy cosmetic fixes. Hopefully, in the process of selling a house, the owner has spruced the place up and made repairs… but if you run across a squeaky door or a wall that could use some new paint, don’t let that be a deal breaker, especially not if the bones of the house are really solid.
- Bring a tape measure. Do you have concerns about whether your giant TV will fit in the living room, or whether your table will look too small in the new kitchen? Why not bring a measuring tape with you to gather some specifications?
- Look around the neighborhood. Again, it’s important to think not just about the house, but also the community surrounding it. Don’t hesitate to talk through the neighborhood a little bit to see what the place is like. You may also want to schedule tours at a couple of different times of day, just to check out traffic and noise levels.
- Write down any questions. You may not remember every last question that pops into your head, so don’t hesitate to write them down to ask either your agent or the listing agent later on. Both agents will be happy to help you out, and to help the owner get the place sold.
These are just a few tips you can use to make your house hunting expeditions as fruitful as possible.
Get More House Buying and House Selling Tips
If you have any additional concerns about home buying, we encourage you to check out our additional buyer’s resources.
And if you’re a homeowner trying to get your property sold, get your seller’s report now. In it, you’ll get all the house selling tips you need, customized to your real estate goals. Claim yours now!