Tips and Tricks for Power House Hunting
If you’re a big fan of house hunting shows, you may feel that you know a lot about choosing the right home. After all, you may find yourself critiquing the taste and decision-making of potential home buyers week after week from the comfort of your sofa.
But when it comes to the big decisions and you’re the eager potential homeowner searching for a new home -- especially if you’re working on a tight deadline -- you will probably find that it’s a little more difficult to make the right choice. After all, you’re not just choosing a home as the climax of a 30-minute TV show -- you’re choosing the setting for the most important moments of your family’s life. (No pressure.)
Lucky for you, we know a thing or two about prioritizing and evaluating the features that matter in a great home. Let us walk you through some aspects of the process that can make your house hunt faster, easier, and more successful than you ever imagined.
Top House Hunting Tips
Get Your Money in Order Before Finding a House
It is essential that you get pre-approved for your mortgage before you get serious about your home search. That may mean starting early checking your credit report, researching a price range for your preferred market, and even paying down debt to improve your credit rating. You want to go into your home search with a firm idea of what you can afford and what process you need to follow to get to the closing table.
You definitely don’t want to fall in love with your dream home then find out that you can’t get a mortgage for the purchase price or find that you haven’t saved enough for both your down payment and closing costs. Putting together a financial plan before you need it is the best way to ensure that your money is ready when you are.
Make a Wishlist -- and Prioritize Your Wishes
You want a gourmet kitchen. Your spouse wants a fenced in yard. The kids want a big playroom and a treehouse. You want to be close to the best schools. Your spouse wants a shorter commute. The kids want to be near the dog park.
No doubt there is a laundry list of preferences on your wish list; by all means write them all down. However, you need to figure out what the most important priorities are and how you can choose among everyone’s personal hopes for your new home. It’s important to ensure that everyone gets a voice, but ultimately, you must choose the most important, non-negotiable features. That way you can make sure your family’s most important needs are met and you won’t get sidetracked by a couple of nice-to-haves, while forgetting the have-to-haves.
Do Your Homework Before You View in Person
One of the big advantages you have is that you can gather a great deal of information before you ever visit a home. Check out the photos and a video tour of the home on a real estate portal. Check out the neighborhood on Google Street View. Check out the schools, doctors, recreational facilities, and more online.
There’s nothing worse than seeing a beautiful home, then looking out the window to find that the view is unsightly or the traffic noise is unbearable. By doing some research ahead of time, you can save yourself time and frustration and head off some deal-breakers from the very beginning of the process.
Get Organized and Be Prepared
Even if you’re not normally a note-taker, you’ll need to have a plan for recording your impressions of the homes you visit. There will be so many features and so many things to see, you’ll be surprised how quickly details begin to get confused and run together.
If you have printouts of each listing, use the back to take notes. If not, bring a small notebook for that purpose. You may prefer to take notes in your phone and accompany them with photos. You can even send separate emails of your impressions and photos to yourself or your spouse after each house, with the street address in the subject line. That way you keep the various properties distinct in your mind and in your notes, and you can more easily organize your thoughts and impressions.
Leave Time for a Second Visit
You’ve found It: the home that makes your heart beat faster. The perfect home. There’s no question in your mind.
If possible, schedule a second showing before making a firm offer. You won’t want to; you’ll be afraid of losing out to another buyer. But unless there are already multiple offers on the table, the listing agent will probably be happy to have you come back a second time just to make sure the home is as perfect as your first impression. If you’re going to have second thoughts, it’s better and less complicated to have them before you sign the offer, rather than after.
If you want to make your home search as fast and efficient as possible, narrow it down to just beautiful Pulte communities. You’ll find one almost everywhere you’re searching, and you know Pulte offers the personalization, quality, and convenience that makes the home purchase process a pleasure.
Contributed to Your Home blog by Christy Murdock Edgar
Looking for more tips, ideas or inspiration? Click here
When Is the Best Time to Buy A House?
Buying a new home is a major financial decision that requires careful planning and consideration. Keep these factors in mind to get your timing just right.