Tips on starting your home search
Author: spencer   March 12, 2017

Owning your own home is a very important mile marker in our lives and most of us grow up with that dream always in our minds. The search for the perfect home can be very time consuming and as a potential buyer you’ll need to make sure that you are absolutely ready. Here are 4 tips to help ensure that your home search goes well and you find a house you’ll want to stay in for many years to come.

  1. Start with a list
  • Focus mainly on your ideal location(s). A good quality home in the right location can be tailored to fit your specific needs later on.
  • With that being said, make a list of your needs and wants. A good list should mainly focus on items that are difficult to change, like an open floor plan or a fireplace for example.
  • Rank each item on the list based upon their importance. It can be helpful to make a list of potential deal-breakers also.
  • These lists will help keep you objective and focused throughout the search process.
  1. Set a ballpark budget
  • There is always room for negotiation later on so the main thing is to just set a ballpark range, to begin with, setting your budget right away will help filter out hundreds of houses from your search.
  • The rule of thumb is that you can buy housing that runs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary, but you’re better off using one of the online calculators available for free.
  • This should help you get a better handle on how your income, debts, and expenses affect what you can afford.
  • Also, start preparing to make a down payment and check up on your credit scores as soon as possible.
  1. Get help from a professional who cares
  • Even though the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings, most new buyers (and many more experienced ones) are still better off using a professional agent.
  • Look for an exclusive buyer agent who will have your best-interests at heart and can help you strategize during the entire process.
  • An ideal agent should have multiple years of experience and be well-respected within the community.
  1. Look at promising homes multiple times
  • Come back again at different times of the day to check for any changes in the surrounding environment, such as new smells in the wind or excessive noise and traffic.
  • Try to make one visit right after a large rainfall and see how the yard handles it.
  • Don’t be afraid to get dirty if you are seriously considering a particular home. Check out the crawl-space and walk behind shrubs to get a better look at the siding.
  • Take careful notes and snap plenty of pictures. Doing this will help you out a ton afterward.

Most importantly, don’t stress! Some people will look at over twenty or thirty homes before finding the right one, while some people may only look at two or three. There is no single right method or an ideal number of homes to visit, but the tips and suggestions here should help keep your search process efficient and relatively smooth.