Saturday, 06 June 2020

Buying a House: 9 House Hunting Tips to Make the Right Choice

Written by Posted On Friday, 02 August 2019 02:39

The home buying process can be difficult, so here are some house hunting tips so that you can make the right choice the first time.

About half of homebuyers regret something about their home purchase. There are so many considerations when buying a house, it can be a challenge to ensure everything goes well.

But you're not going to make any mistakes. You've come searching for information, and that already puts you ahead of the pack.

With some smart house hunting tips, you'll be in a better situation to make a great choice when buying your next house. And this can lead to greater home satisfaction and a heftier wallet.

So what's the secret to landing your dream home without any unexpected hiccups? This house hunting guide will cover the nine major tips you should know before you enter the market.

1. House Hunting Tips? Start With the Budget

When you don't know your budget, you could spend countless hours looking at homes you can't actually afford. But homes are one of the most expensive purchases you'll ever make, so how do you figure out your price range?

Well, it starts with a pre-approved mortgage. Talk to your lender. They'll figure out your maximum mortgage pre-approval.

Maybe it's $250,000. Now that you have that information, you know the top end of your price range. But remember: Just because you're approved for a certain amount, that doesn't mean you should commit to a home that uses your maximum mortgage loan.

2. Determine Your Home's Needs

So, you've decided on a budget. That's great! Now you need to decide what type of home features you're looking for.

While this may be daunting, start with specifications that are often included online. You want to think about how many bedrooms and bathrooms your family needs, as well as the total square footage.

Many real estate listings also mention smaller details. This includes things like heating, cooling, and HOA fees. Check out these Port Aransas homes for sale for a good example of home features.

Once you've figured out the basics, you'll be able to find potential homes that match your specifications.

It's time to filter them further. Consider things you may want but not necessarily need, such as a yard, balcony, or furnished basement.

3. Have a Location in Mind

When you're buying a house, you need to look beyond the building. Your purchase is also a promise that you'll be living in the surrounding area for a good while. So you'd better make sure you enjoy the nearby amenities.

Maybe you want to live in a certain school district to guarantee a good education for your kids. Or, instead, you'd like to live within a reasonable distance to your place of work. Figure out your ideal lifestyle and activities, then scout out some residential areas near all the action.

4. Check out the Neighborhood

Online maps don't always tell the whole story. Neighborhood statistics help, but you should personally visit the neighborhood of a potential home.

You'll get a good sense of your neighbors with a quick stroll. Are their homes and yards in good condition? Is it quiet, or is the area noisy and close to frequent construction?

Of all the home buying tips, remember this one — when you buy the house, you buy the neighborhood. Make sure you love it.

5. Choose a Good Realtor

Know who else has good tips for house hunting? Your realtor, assuming it's a good one.

Take some time looking at reviews for a great agent in your area. Since real estate agents are paid by commission, they don't always act in your best interest. Be sure you choose one who cares and will work for you — not just for a quick sale.

6. Visit Twice

This is it. You've found your dream house. Or did you?

Never dive into a house purchase without a second visit. During the first showing, your stay is often limited. This means you could miss some warning signs in your hurry.

With the second visit, give yourself more time to scrutinize the smaller details.

7. Appeal for Curb Appeal

It's not all about the inside. Even if your home has a joyous interior, the outside could be offputting. Maybe you're not a fan of the gravel parking space or lopsided yard.

These may seem minor complaints, but your preferences are important. And it's not all about looks, either. Spotty mold, warped siding, and an old roof could indicate costly repairs that cost tens of thousands of dollars.

8. Ignore the Small Things

Realize that you won't find a perfect home. You're looking for something that's close to perfect, something you can make perfect.

Do you hate the hardwood floors or dingy carpet? Or maybe the wallpaper is flaking off in the bathroom. It may look awful, but these are small fixes.

In fact, the best part about a home in need of a few improvements is you can snag it for a cheaper price. And then you can make the small, simple repairs on your own time and dime. Not too shabby.

9. Run from the Big Things

You don't want to buy a lemon. Before you even look at your first house, learn about home warning signs.

If you see mold, water splotches, or warped walls — yeah, that's a good sign that there's water damage. Pay close attention to creaking stairs and check the fit on every door. It's a great way to check for shifting, which could indicate foundation problems.

In addition to house damage, be knowledgeable of big-ticket items. A new roof is a massive expense, as well as a new AC if it isn't working.

Although it's a lot to take in, a home inspector will look for these smaller details as well. That's why most people rely on one before making the purchase. Still, having a good eye for detail will save you time, as well as the cost of an inspection.

Find Your Dream Home

Although a great realtor can help, these house hunting tips can make you an informed buyer. Since a home is likely the most expensive purchase you'll make, it's important to choose one in the right condition and with the right assets.

And it's easier than you might think. Start your home buying journey by pre-approving your mortgage and finding a great agent. Once that's done, you're ready to journey down the exciting and terrifying path of homeownership.

Browse the rest of our site for more content to get you ready for homeownership. 

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tracy handy

Tracy is a full-time real estate advisor and blogger. she specializing in real estate technology .and she would like to write real estate,  home improvement topics.
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