Basic House Hunting Tips

by Dusty Rhodes on Aug 15, 2017  in 
  • Moving

House hunting can be one of the most exciting parts of the home buying process, but it can also be stressful at times.  It can be very easy to let your emotions get the best of you and cloud your judgement.  However, it is important to try and separate your enthusiasm from the fact that this is a big investment.  Here are a few tips that can help you set your priorities so that you don’t get swept away by a few charming details. 

Define Your Priorities
Before you ever walk into a home, sit down and make a list of the most important must-haves for your new home.  Decide which features you are not willing to settle on and go from there.  The truth is once you start looking it can be easy to be swayed by all sorts of charming features.  You might think you are willing to give up one of your must-haves because the house shows well.  However, these are the things that cause people to regret their decisions down the road.  Defining your priorities will help you to stay on track to get what you are really looking for.

Begin Your Search Online and Create a Short List
These days the internet is your go-to resource during the house hunting process. Through various real estate websites you can preview properties online in order to narrow your search.  It can be a tremendous time saver and certainly beats the old fashioned method of driving all over town looking for “for sale” signs in the yards.  Once you have found some properties you are interested in, make a short list of your favorites.  There is no need to go and look at every house that is for sale.  Seeing too many houses can be exhausting and it will only lead to frustration. 

Make a Comparison Chart
After you have seen several houses it can be difficult to keep track of the specific features in each one.  Instead, make a chart or checklist and fill it out after leaving each house so you can remember the details of each home.  It can also be helpful to take pictures so you will have those on hand for comparison as well.  Include notes about the basic layout as well as additional notes on the landscape, interior and exterior condition, storage space, etc.   This can be a helpful guide for determining which home best fits all of your needs.

Use Comps to Evaluate the Price
Not sure whether the home you are interested in is reasonably priced?  You can find this out by checking the comps for other houses in the neighborhood.  Ask your real estate agent to put together a list of comps so you are able to make a smart offer on the home.

Walk Through the House More than Once
When you walk through a home for the first time you should always walk through once and just soak it all in.  Your excitement and emotions can make it difficult to focus on the things that really matter.   Once the butterflies have worn off, it is time to walk through again and start focusing on details.  Go back to the front of the house and literally start all over.  This time, make notes and approach the home as if you were an inspector.  This will help you to stay on track and focus on the important details of each home. 

Dusty Rhodes