Going house hunting is one the most fun parts of buying a house, yet it is also the most challenging — according to 56% of buyers from all generations. But there is something magical in having all these opportunities laid in front of you, where you can fantasize about your dream home and think about all the memories that you will make there.
Even though the house searching process can be very emotional, it is essential to keep a healthy dosage of detachment. That will save you from impulse-buying something that would turn from dream home to nightmare in a matter of months or years. Never let your emotions get in the way of rational thinking. A home is, after all, a huge financial investment.
Here are some of the most useful house hunting tips that will help you navigate the house-buying process easily, so that you can enjoy your fresh new start as soon as possible.
Identify Your Top Needs
Do you know which location you prefer? Do you have a preference for certain architectural styles? How many bedrooms does your future house need? Does it need to be faced toward the east? These are only some of the starting questions to ask yourself before going house hunting.
The biggest rule that applies to all when it comes to buying a house is that when you need and desire everything, it’s most likely you’re not going to find anything. But you can still find a home that has everything you need along with some of the things you wish for.
You have to determine and differentiate your wants and your needs — things that you couldn’t go without. Create two lists. One should contain everything you wish for, such as a sunnier side so that your plants can thrive, spacious patio, or outside jacuzzi, and on the other list, note down everything that your house needs, such as three bedrooms, one story, or anything else.
Be realistic about your budget and stick to it. Real estate agents can help you find something that is just right for your wallet and your needs.
Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan
Mortgage pre-approval is the process by which lenders examine your financial history to determine your suitability as a borrower. After the review, they will tell you two things — whether or not you are eligible for a house loan, and how much you can borrow.
To get the most out of your house-hunting and realtor, first get pre-approved by a lender. A lender’s review can reveal any issues with your loan application, like too much debt or a low credit score.
Another benefit is that it lets you narrow down your search to properties that are only within your budget. What’s the point of going to see your dream house just to find out ten minutes later that it’s way out of your current budget?
Nowadays, it is almost a necessity for real estate agents to have your mortgage pre-approved. The final perk is that the sellers will take you much more seriously and they will know that you aren’t fooling around.
Find a Real Estate Agent
Buying a house isn’t something you do on Black Friday or as an impulse. It is a huge investment, and because so much money is at stake, it makes sense to get help from an expert. For first-time buyers, hiring a real estate agent almost goes without saying.
Your agent should be able to accomplish the following:
- Do proper research on properties that fit your needs
- Manage and plan out the showing of these houses
- Use updated sales data to assist you in evaluating the seller’s asking price
- Write up an offer for you, and come to a specific number you feel confident in
- Communicate the offer and negotiate with the seller
In addition to handling the specific tasks above, an experienced agent is like a treasure trove of house hunting tips and advice. They’ve been through the process dozens, possibly hundreds of times.
Look for Homes Online
When looking for a new home, the internet can be a huge help. Our Dallas moving company suggests researching homes and filtering out only those that fit your criteria. Prior to scheduling a viewing, you can look at the houses online and see if you’re interested in them.
These days, you even have virtual tours on certain listings, so you can almost take a walk around the house without even seeing it. All of these perks will help you optimize your dream home hunt, so you don’t have to spend days and days viewing houses that you don’t seem like a fit from the start.
Here are some good websites to start your research:
On all of these websites, there’s an option to save homes you’re interested in. It’s a great time-saving tool and it will help you organize your house hunt.
Visit the Homes on Your Short List
You’ve done your homework online and made a short list of homes that you’d like to visit with a few appointments. Now it’s time for the most exciting part — but it’s also the most challenging. Make sure to keep these things in mind during your visitations:
- Bring a camera with you and take photos of everything once you’re in the house. Label photos and arrange them by property as soon as you get home. This includes taking pictures of everything that may create a sense of suspicion.
- Bring your “needs” and “wishes” list with you. It’s easy to mix up which is which, and it’s even easier to forget what exactly the criteria were.
- Pay special attention to details that you cannot change, such as how large the home is, the number of bathrooms and bedrooms, the view, etc.
- Make sure that you like your neighborhood, too.
There are usually two rounds of visits. Once you have your home finalists, it’s time to go again. This time around, you won’t be as excited and overwhelmed, and you will be able to be more critical and make rational decisions.
Start Looking for Moving Companies
Going house-hunting can be very overwhelming and emotional. But there’s no bigger excitement than when you sign everything and get keys to the place that you will soon call home.
There’s only one more thing left to do — to move. And if house-hunting was too much, then brace yourself, because moving is a tedious process. The best way to go about it is to hire professional movers. Before partnering up with anyone, make sure to do proper research before choosing a moving company, so you can know what to expect. Search online and ask for referrals from your family, friends, or even the real estate agent who you were house-hunting with.
There’s always an option to DIY your move with the help of friends and family. But if you’ve been through the whole house hunting process, the best solution would be to find someone who can make it much easier and less stressful for you.