It’s house hunting day! You have every reason to be excited about the opportunity to find the house of your dreams. But, don’t let that excitement cloud your judgement. You can have a very productive day if you are prepared and focused.
Here are a few pointers to help you shop until you drop for your new home.
Set A Budget And Get Pre-Approved For a Loan
If you start looking at houses before you know how much you can, or are willing, to spend, you are putting the proverbial cart before the horse. The first thing you need to do is create a budget for a new home so you know what you can afford. Then, you need to get a mortgage pre-approval to solidify your price and your status as a serious buyer.
You will quite simply be wasting your time and facing disappointment if you start shopping before you know what you can spend.
Know Your Must-Haves
Arm yourself with a list of wants and a list of needs. Be sure you mark your must-haves and prioritize items on each list. By knowing this information ahead of time, you can easily bypass any houses that don’t meet your criteria.
Don’t forget to include things such as neighborhoods, school districts, proximity to key places and anything else that matters to you. Knowing your non-negotiables will save you a lot of time on your house-hunting day and allow you to focus on true potentials.
Have A Planned Route
The biggest waste of your day is going to be traveling from one house to another. Before you leave the house, make sure you have an efficient route planned out so you can get to all of the houses in one day. Grouping properties by neighborhood is a helpful way to not only see more houses but to also get a feel for the neighborhood.
Take some time before the big day to look at online listings. This will help you whittle down your list to the properties that are the strongest candidates. This will save you a lot of travel time and shopping energy.
If you start running short on time, create a high-priority shortlist to make sure you hit your prime contenders.
Take Photos And Notes As You Go
Do not expect to remember everything about every house you see in one day. You will forget the details. To help you review everything later, take photos and notes as you go through houses. Try to take at least one photo of every room and any unique or featured items. From there, write down any positive or negative thoughts you have about the house.
And be honest. If something doesn’t look or feel right, don’t sugarcoat it. Buying a home is a major investment, and you don’t want to settle.
Most importantly, have fun! Buying a new home should be an adventure that you can enjoy. By spending a little time preparing, you will be able to make the most of any house-hunting day.