How to make house hunting painless

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 24 December 2019 10:11

House hunting is exciting, especially for first-time buyers. You'll finally have a place of your own where dealing with landlords who aren't very friendly or nosy neighbors will be behind you. Also, it will feel like a new start even if you are moving houses to a neighborhood you have always dreamt about. Nonetheless, you can't up and leave the moment you realize the house isn't what you had thought it would be.

Therefore, you need to ensure the house is indeed what you wanted, given the substantial financial commitment you'll be making. On the same note, the perfect home won't pop up the moment you start house hunting. As the process can be exciting, so can it be frustrating, especially if you don't know what to do. Here are some useful tips to make the house-hunting process painless for you:

Be flexible

You may have a list of things you want your dream house to have but keep an open mind. You'll never find a house that has everything you want. Just focus on getting a house that has most of the things you are looking for. You can carry out renovations or remodeling projects to change the items you don't like. Also, focus on your needs first. 

Create a list of your needs and wants 

It would help if you wrote down the must-haves for your dream home. This list should have the things you cannot do without. This should be your priority when skimming through the houses to determine whether they would be a good purchase or not. Also, have a "wants list". These are the things that you'd like the house to have, but they are not necessarily a deal-breaker. However, you have to realistic when making these lists. Knowing how to differentiate between needs and wants will save you a lot of frustration.

Have a realistic price range

Given how costly houses can be, everyone wants to get an affordable house. However, just because someone bought a nice $300,000 house elsewhere doesn't mean you will find a great house at that price in your location. Also, the price range will differ depending on the neighborhood you are buying. Therefore, ask around for the average cost of the houses in the region to determine your budget. 

Focus on the things you can't easily change

Don't fixate on things you can easily change. Your attention should be on those you cannot. If you don't like the carpet in your new house, you can have it replaced in a day. However, you cannot change the size of your home, the lot, or even the location. Therefore, you need to find a house that ticks all the boxes as far as these things go.

Don't paint a picture in your head about how the house should be

Unless you have a limitless budget, the picture in your head about the house you want will not live up to what you will find on the market. This discrepancy is mainly due to limited funds and the fact that your tastes and preferences are different from those of the next person. Real estate investors build houses for sale based on what they think most people want. Therefore, you have to work with that. 

You can always carry out home improvement projects to have the home close to the picture in your head. However, if you are adamant about how the house should look like when you are still house hunting you will come back empty-handed.

Take your time

Don't rush the process but rather take your time in checking out each house. Also, when you start early and use a great real estate agent, you will be informed about the homes which have just hit the market immediately. By being among the first people to look at these homes, you can easily stumble on a good one.

Remember that great houses always sell fast and you need to act quickly. There will be one or more great homes hitting the market every month which is why you need to take your time in the search.

Choose a good realtor

An excellent realtor will make the process painless. You have to let him/her know what you are looking for, and he'll do the rest. Your realtor will be the person to get info about the houses that are about to hit the market and negotiate a great deal for you. Realtors also check out the homes for you when you are busy and give you feedback. You can then decide whether to make the purchase or not. You won't be able to attend every open house or even carry out in-depth research about the homes when you are also working full-time or juggling other responsibilities in your life. That is why you need to hire a great realtor. 

Wear comfortable shoes and clothes and be prepared to walk for long

You'll have to check out many properties during the house-hunting process, and that involves a lot of walking. It also takes time. Make sure your clothes and shoes are comfortable so that you don't get tired fast. You don't want to go home with a limp. On the same note, carry snacks and water. 

Have fun

You get to buy a home once every 5, 10, or more years, and that's why you shouldn't be too hard on yourself. You will come across many properties - some great, some not so great. There'll be challenges and some great moments as well. However, have fun while house hunting so that you can have memorable moments to look back at when you are done with the process.

Additional real estate resources

Everyone's looking for a hack of some sort these days.  No wonder why John Cunningham put together a great list of house hunting hacks that score big.

With so many options, floor plans, neighborhoods and so forth to choose from buying a home can get overwhelming.  If you are wondering how to find the right home for you take a look at Anita Clark's article covering tips to make sure you don't go wrong when buying your next home.

Geoff Southworth has a comprehensive list of 59 common mistakes to avoid when buying a house.



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