Top 6 Tips For Successful House Hunting

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Searching for your new home can be one of the most exciting yet overwhelming events in your life, regardless of whether it’s your first or third time. After all, a new house is a massive investment that requires careful planning and decision. But you shouldn’t let your emotions or excitement cloud your judgment to avoid having regrets and frustrations later on.   

When choosing a house, you’ll need to ensure that it has all the features and perks you and your family are looking for. So, if you’re ready to get started, here are the top six tips for successful house hunting.   

  1. Nail down your budget   

Before you even start searching for houses or consulting a realtor, you’ll need to take a moment to check your financial status to see if you can afford a house. Look at your current monthly income and expenses and feel how much you can comfortably afford. Do you have enough finances for the down payment or the monthly payment for the mortgage loan? Remember that your monthly mortgage payment shouldn’t be more than 30% of your monthly income. (1)

It’s also a good idea to check if you’ll qualify for a mortgage. The lender will thoroughly check your income, credit scores, debt situation, and more. Once you’re pre-approved, you’ll have an idea of how much lenders will be willing to lend you. After knowing your financial status and your estimated pre-approved mortgage loan, you can determine your price range and budget. (1) 

2. Know your desired location  

Now that you’ve nailed down your budget, you can start your house-hunting. With many houses on the market, you can narrow down your selection by knowing the specific location where you wish to buy a home. For example, if you want to move or buy a house somewhere in North Carolina, you can focus your search on houses for sale in Charlotte, Mooresville, Raleigh, or other cities within that state.   

Keep in mind that your location should have access to schools, your office or workplace, grocery stores, and other establishments that will help you and your family start your new lives. It’s also important to consider the type of neighborhood you like. Do you like living in a large city with busy streets, or do you prefer living in a small, peaceful neighborhood in a suburban area? If you know someone who lives in a location you like, you can ask for insights.   

3. Assess your must-haves for your next home  

Some homeowners are willing to invest in houses that require some fixing for a lower price, while others may prefer something ready for move-in anytime. Either way, it’s a good idea to figure out your preferences and must-haves for your next house, like the number of bedrooms, age of the house, number of floors, yard size, and the overall house condition. Your list of must-haves will be your non-negotiable needs, and these will help you recognize deal-breakers more quickly to speed up your house hunting.  (2)

But remember, a house that has all the things you need might be rare. You could find a place that will have most of your must-haves, so be flexible.   

4. Utilize online resources during your home search  

Before you tour different houses, it’s best to start your search online first to save yourself some time and energy from driving from one place to another. So, start your online house hunting and have your must-have checklist and other preferences ready. The purpose of checking online is to eliminate the chances of going to a far-off place that’s likely not worth the visit. (1) (3)

You should focus your search on the needs and preferences you have in your checklist. If a pretty house doesn’t meet several points in your list, move on and continue your search. You can check out this link https://www.corcoran.com/homes-for-sale/location/charlotte-nc-17526306/regionId=113 or other real estate websites to learn the features that each house has to offer. Once you or your family has agreed on certain homes, you can put them on your list of houses to visit. 

5. Visit open houses and do house tours 

With the list of houses that you’ve considered for a tour, you can start visiting your potential home. Seeing the houses personally will help you compare what you saw online and determine any red or green flags you might’ve missed during your online search. (1)

Open houses or personal house tours will also give you a good feeling of the home’s dynamics and the neighborhood’s atmosphere. You get to see the flow of the home’s layout and, at the same time, soak in the vibe of your potential neighbors. Remember, you won’t just live in the house but the neighborhood too.  

6. Talk to the agent 

No one knows better about the houses but the agent. So, talk to the agent and ask questions about the positive and negative attributes of the house. You can ask questions like: 

  • Why is this house for sale? 
  • Does it have any major flaws or problems? (e.g., wall stains, mold-prone spots) 
  • What’s the owner’s expected sale price? 

Note all the good and bad things about the house and compare them with the other properties you saw. 

Takeaway 

Hunting for your next home won’t be easy, but you’ll surely find one. Just go through these steps to have a smooth and successful house search and boost your chances of finding the best home.

References:

  1. “Top 20 House Hunting Tips You Need to Know When Looking for a New Home”, Source: https://kerb.com/house-hunting-tips/
  2. “The House Hunter’s Guide To Successful Saturdays”, Source: https://www.ubank.com.au/home-loans/property/house-hunters-guide-to-successful-saturdays
  3. “10 Top Tips For Effective House-hunting”, Source: https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/homes-and-property/10-top-tips-for-effective-house-hunting-1.3386579

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