Going through all the house hunting tips you can find out there before you start looking for a potential home will make this complex process as rewarding as it is challenging. There are so many expressions emphasizing our emotional attachment to the places we live in. Still, relying on home sweet home as probably the most familiar one, it’s easy to understand there’s not a single more important purchase than buying a new dwelling place. So, how do you survive house hunting, then? That’s where we come in. Stick to our house hunting guide to find out how to properly prepare and have a good start.
Pool up Your Money for the Desired Realty on Time
Speaking of how to prepare for a move, your budget is a determining factor, one that should be taken care of seriously. Assuming that what most want is stress-free moving, saving up is one of the first things to do when moving into a new home. If you’re wondering how to save money on moving costs, there are many helpful moving tricks, so don’t be lazy to search for them. Whether you want to know where to get free moving boxes and other packing materials for moving, or you’re trying to figure out how much do movers cost, you’ll have the answers in a flash. Also, in case you need to transport a car from state to state, choosing cost-effective auto-shipping services is a great way to save up some money, too. Hiring a cross-country moving company might seem like an expansive undertaking. Still, considering all the professional packing and above all else moving services they offer, you may save a lot more than you’ll spend. Put all these on your list because expenses can quickly add up when you have to deal with selling and buying a property.
Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval
Being pre-approved for a mortgage will eliminate the possibility of disappointment. Only when you know what a bank is willing to loan can you start hunting for your dream place. For this reason, our best advice for first-time buyers is to start applying early enough. Understanding what your moving budget will be is quite simple: write down how much you earn and take out expenses and taxes. The number left is the approximate amount for your down payments and monthly payments.
Know Your Housing Needs
No matter your reasons to move, the first question that will undoubtedly cross your mind will be what should I look for when house hunting? A search for a is very much like finding your perfect romantic match. So, being brutally clear about must-have features and communicating them will make the whole process easier for everybody. The only way to handle it is to take your time and think it through.
A List of Must-Haves
The “must-haves” category is entirely different from the “wants” category, and finding something close to your dream place is only possible if you know what preferences you would be willing to compromise and what are the non-negotiable ones. Of course, your needs will vary depending on the circumstances. Suppose you are relocating to another state alone and looking for a residence. In that case, you’re certainly planning on a smaller one than when relocating to a new city with your whole family.
Hiring an Agent
Since the housing market is in constant flux, one of the wisest advice in the domain of “how to house hunt” you’ll come across is to hire a reliable agent. Not only can they help you navigate the hunt more effectively, but they will also help you realize your wants and needs faster. With a professional real estate agent by your side, this process won’t get that chaotic to handle, and you won’t find yourself desperately asking “how long should house hunting take” or how to get the best deal. Simplifying the buying steps is a huge relief, and with a proper realtor choice, it is quite attainable.
For more info on how to interview a real estate agent before hiring any of them, check out the video below.
House Hunting Tips When Researching Real Estate Market Trends
When thinking about what to look for when house hunting, buying a property that will pay off is surely something to have in mind. Whether it’s your first or the fourth time to make such a significant investment, it’s vital to get a bit acquainted with real estate trends in your area. Here are a few things to consider when searching:
- Gathering data of a new neighborhood – Looking into public records to see trends and price fluctuations in an area,
- Finding property information – Sleuthing in public records of a property to see past buyers, mortgages, foreclosures, tax liens, or if the listing is a short sale,
- Local demographics – Researching the ages, professions, income levels of the people from the area,
- Environmental issues worth paying attention to – Going through location, neighboring properties, air and water quality, climate, weather, and alike.
Having this short house hunt checklist will give you practical knowledge of the buyer’s and seller’s market. Having them in mind will also narrow your search and give you enough tools to plan a move to another city and of course move safely.
Find Your Place Online
Don’t forget the internet, because thanks to technology you can have a view of your future residence there, even have a virtual tour. Some of the most popular websites you can use for your search are Realtor, Trulia, and Zillow. Making a serious offer is possible only when you’re sure what’s on the market.
Don’t Skip Dwellings Nearby Open for Viewing
Using your free time to drive around the neighborhoods you’re interested in will give you the best chance to check the number of open houses. Furthermore, learning about current trends out there is how you’ll get a better idea of what exactly you are looking for.
Remember These House Hunting Tips When Visiting Realties in Person
You’ll definitely know if a place meets your requirements, but it still bothers you how should you act when viewing a house from your wishlist. To make the good judgment call of a property’s condition during your first walkthrough, we prepared some more hints for you:
- Always check the floors,
- Take notice of the cracks in the walls,
- Notice if there are any unusual cover-ups,
- Check the basement,
- Be sure to check all the windows,
- Find out a bit about the roof,
- If possible, bring an expert for electrical and plumbing matters.
Keeping an objective mindset is crucial at this stage for future buyers, although it might be difficult. It’s good to have a second pair of eyes with you to help you keep your feet on the ground and to draw your attention to common red flags.
Create a Shortlist
When searching for potential homes and moving out for the first time, creating a shortlist should also get a slot in your moving out list. It is a necessary step when you’ve already visited all the properties, and now you’d like a clear picture of what is there for you as a buyer. Eliminate the ones that do not meet your must-have requirements, as well as those that are exceeding your budget. Whether you’re going on your own or moving for love, creating a shortlist will prove beneficial if you’re wondering how to move efficiently. Without one, it will easily get messy.
Compare Prices and Potential Expenses
Relocating to a small town or to a smaller place doesn’t necessarily mean moving expenses will be lower. Do a pre-math, make a list, and compare the prices of the shortlisted properties.
Garden As a Top Selling Point of Your Dream Homes
Buying a place with a garden is always a sharp move. However, remember to be on the lookout for these things when choosing a property for yourself. Even if you’re last-minute moving, these will be of an essence, so find some time for them:
- Take a careful look at the trees – Even though they provide shade on hot days, it’s essential to consider where they are growing. If planted too close to any of the structures, they could end up costing you a lot in the long run.
- Go beyond curb appeal – Homeowners who put their realty on the market will always rather sell it as it is, without much investment. They might try to hide numerous damages by making a property look great from the outside. As a prospective buyer, take your time to closely inspect every inch of the realty. That being said, don’t forget to check the entire garden space, as well, and anything that may pose a flood risk. If there are sidewalks, alleys, or paths, be sure they are secure enough.
For a Second Visit
When it comes to tips for house hunting, going for a second visit before putting in an offer is an absolute must. Rushing during your first go-see could make you jump at the opportunity without a second thought. A chance to examine things you might have missed before – electrical shorts, plumbing issues, mold, and a range of other problems – will give you the ability to be confident when making such a big decision. If you’re up for more exciting moments and less moving stress, don’t skip this one.
Most Common Mistakes You Need to Be Aware of
Ignoring flaws in some of the essential realty features may cause major problems later. Of course, finding a place that perfectly suits your criteria might be impossible, but getting close to it is certainly doable. Sure, you should not sweat over damages on minor features, but your moving expenses checklist will not have an end if you don’t take notice of the big ones. For example, the type of roofing and poor drainage system on your property could cause significant problems and pretty expensive damages to buyers. Other potential crucial issues when searching for homes are their size and the number of bedrooms.
Is There a Perfect Abode?
Truth be told, nobody wants to mess around with a decision as big as calling a place your home. How to be sure then that a place you’ve found is worth it? Will it feel like one when you see it, or is there more to it?
Keeping your preferences in mind will keep you on track, for sure. However, some things are hard to find within the quality of the property or its surroundings. Creating memories, laughing, eating, sleeping, feeling however you feel like, raising your children, getting old. This will be the essence of your perfect dwelling place, so don’t forget to bring it with you. It’s something you’ll have to find within your gut when facing a potential home. Let these house hunting tips checklist help you get there convinced and satisfied.