Debbie Caniff's Blog
House hunting can be enjoyable but becomes overwhelming pretty quickly. After looking at many different houses, they can all start to look the same. It’s hard to remember what homes had what features. In order to make a right decision on which home to make an offer on, you’ll need to remember the details of each house. Read on for tips to help you house hunt like a pro.
Keep Track Of The Homes You Have Looked At
Whether you’re doing simple online searches or touring open houses, it’s easy for your mind to get jumbled as to what you have seen. It’s a good idea to keep a record of homes with their addresses as to where they are located, the color of the house, and the desirable features contained within the home. This way, you can have an overall picture of what you want.
Know What Features Are Important
You should make a list of everything you’re looking for in a home before you even start searching. Include things like:
- The price range
- How big of a house you’re looking for
- How many bedrooms
- How many bathrooms
- Additional features like walk-in closets
- Eat-in kitchen or dining room
- What type of home you’re looking for
- How many stories you want the home to be
You can then branch off from the essentials on the list adding other desirable features in a property like a pool, a jacuzzi, a large backyard, or a fireplace. Then, you should make a list prioritizing what is the most important to you in your home search. Things like the number of bedrooms and the size of the home will be a higher priority than a jacuzzi tub.
Look At Your Commute
One of the most significant factors in finding a home is how far it is from your workplace. The closer you are to work, the less stressful your life will be. If you take the train or a bus to work, it may be easier to live close to a station or stop. On the flip side, to be closer to work what are you sacrificing? Are you close to schools, parks, stores, and other regularly visited spots? See what locations suit your lifestyle.
Review What You’ve Looked At
Once you have done your research and decided what you need and want, it’s time to make comparisons. Look at the prices of each home and see what they have to offer for the money. Once you decide the price and amenities are on par with your original wishlist, the house is a good candidate to put an offer on.
Buying a house should be a fast, simple process. However, problems sometimes can arise that prevent a homebuyer from discovering his or her dream residence.
Ultimately, there are many factors to consider before you purchase a house to ensure you can avoid myriad homebuying hurdles, and these factors include:
1. Your Home Needs
No two houses are identical, and much in the same vein, no two homebuyers have the same definition of the perfect residence. As such, a homebuyer should consider his or her dream home demands prior to kicking off a home search.
Making a checklist of home "must-haves" and "wants" is paramount. With this checklist in hand, a homebuyer will be able to refine his or her home search and map out the property buying journey accordingly.
It may be helpful to consider your day-to-day activities as you evaluate where you want to live too.
For example, if you work in the city, you may want to find a house that is located near public transportation. Comparatively, if you have kids, you may want to consider houses that are located close to top schools.
2. Your Budget
You know that you want to buy a house. On the other hand, you still have no idea how much money is available to ensure you can make your homeownership dreams come true.
When it comes to buying a house, it pays to meet with banks and credit unions. With pre-approval for a mortgage, you'll know precisely how much you can spend on a house.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, set up consultations with several potential lenders. Then, you can learn about all of your mortgage options and select a mortgage lender that matches or surpasses your expectations.
3. Your Homebuying Timeline
Are you looking to buy a home as soon as possible? Or, can you afford to take a wait-and-see approach throughout the homebuying journey?
Examine your homebuying timeline and plan ahead as much as possible. By doing so, you can boost your chances of finding a terrific house and minimize stress as you browse the real estate market.
Regardless of your homebuying timeline, it always helps to work with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can take the guesswork out of searching for a residence and ensure you can discover a stellar house at a budget-friendly price.
Typically, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new residences as they become available. He or she also will provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations and respond to any homebuying concerns and questions.
Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent can provide during homebuying negotiations, either.
A real estate agent is happy to negotiate with a home seller on your behalf. That way, he or she can help you secure a great house without having to worry about paying too much.
Streamline the process of acquiring your ideal residence. Consider the aforementioned factors, and you can keep things simple as you proceed along the homebuying journey.
After you complete a home showing, you may face a dilemma. If you like a house following a showing, you may want to set up a follow-up showing or submit an offer to purchase. Or, if you are dissatisfied with the results of a home showing, you may want to continue your house search.
It helps to know what to expect after you attend a house showing. Because if you know what to do following a showing, you may be able to speed up the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you make the best-possible decision about a house following a showing.
1. Assess the Pros and Cons of a House
Performing a comprehensive home analysis is a must after a showing. That way, you can weigh the pros and cons of a residence and decide whether a house is right for you.
Think about how you felt as you walked through each room of a house. If you can envision yourself as the owner of a home, you may want to move sooner rather than later to submit an offer to purchase.
Conversely, if you find a house is in need of major repairs or simply does not suit your lifestyle, you should not hesitate to continue your house search. With a diligent approach to home evaluations, you should have no trouble discovering your dream residence in the foreseeable future.
2. Consider the Next Step in Your Homebuying Journey
When it comes to finding the perfect residence, it helps to plan ahead as much as possible. And if you have a plan in place for what to do after a home showing, you'll be better equipped than ever before to prepare for the worst-case scenarios.
For example, a home seller could accept a rival buyer's offer to purchase before you have time to consider your options following a showing. But if you have a backup plan in place, you can move quickly to continue your homebuying journey, regardless of how a showing pans out.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
If you are unsure about the best course of action at a home showing's conclusion, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This will enable you to gain expert insights into the housing market and make an informed decision about how to proceed with a particular residence.
A real estate agent is happy to teach you about all aspects of the housing market. Following a home showing, a real estate agent can meet with you and help you review all of the options at your disposal. And if you decide to submit an offer to purchase a house, a real estate agent will make it easy to put together a competitive homebuying proposal.
There is no need to worry about what to do after a house showing. Use the aforementioned tips, and you can boost the likelihood of making the best-possible decision following a home showing.
The homebuying journey may prove to be difficult, and assorted challenges may arise that make it tough to quickly find and buy your dream house. Whether it's encountering problems during a home inspection or negotiating a house price with a property seller, there is no telling what may happen during your pursuit of your dream home. However, if you know how to handle homebuying challenges that come your way, you'll be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a seamless homebuying experience.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you tackle various homebuying challenges.
1. Stay Patient
When you are faced with a homebuying hurdle, it is important to remember that every problem has a solution. Thus, if you take a calm, cool and collected approach to a homebuying issue, you can find the best way to alleviate this problem.
A patient homebuyer usually is a successful homebuyer, and for good reason. If you maintain patience as you navigate the homebuying journey, you can analyze problems that come your way and allocate the necessary time and resources to solve them. And as a result, you may be able to speed up the homebuying journey and acquire your dream residence in no time at all.
2. Consider Your Options Closely
As you encounter homebuying hurdles, you should consider your options closely. That way, you can weigh the pros and cons of potential homebuying decisions and make informed choices as you try to buy your ideal residence.
Sometimes, it may be beneficial to consult with family members and friends too. If you reach out to loved ones for support, they may be able to help you make the best-possible decisions throughout the homebuying journey.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
When it comes to purchasing a home, you may require expert assistance. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can help you overcome property buying issues.
A real estate agent is committed to your homebuying success, and as such, will work with you to make your homeownership dream come true. Therefore, if you want to acquire a city residence as quickly as possible, a real estate agent can help you do just that. On the other hand, if you want to purchase a small town home at an affordable price, a real estate agent will help you accomplish your desired result.
Let's not forget about the comprehensive guidance a real estate agent can provide as you search for your dream residence, either. A real estate agent can teach you everything you need to know about the housing market. By doing so, he or she can help you identify and resolve homebuying problems before they escalate.
For those who want to streamline the homebuying journey, it helps to prepare. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can reduce or eliminate homebuying hurdles and purchase your dream house without delay.
Believe it or not, getting pre-approved for a mortgage can be quick and simple, even for a first-time homebuyer. In fact, here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer streamline the process of receiving pre-approval for a mortgage:
1. Meet with Several Lenders
Many mortgage lenders are available in cities and towns nationwide. Meanwhile, these mortgage experts are happy to teach first-time homebuyers about assorted mortgage options and help them get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Set up face-to-face meetings with various lenders in your area. That way, a first-time homebuyer can gain unparalleled insights into a wide range of mortgage options.
In addition, don't hesitate to ask questions during meetings with banks and credit unions. Mortgage lenders possess comprehensive mortgage expertise, and as such, a first-time homebuyer can rely on these mortgage professionals to receive the support that he or she needs to make an informed decision.
2. Understand Your Credit Score
Do you know your credit score? Ultimately, a first-time homebuyer's credit score may dictate his or her ability to obtain the ideal mortgage.
An individual can request a free copy of his or her credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) once a year. This report may prove to be exceedingly valuable, as it can help a homebuyer identify opportunities to improve his or her credit score before a mortgage application is submitted.
Also, if you identify errors in your credit report, it is paramount to contact the agency that provided the report immediately. This will allow you to correct any potential errors quickly and ensure that they won't affect your ability to get the best possible mortgage.
3. Consider Your Homebuying Budget
A first-time homebuyer may have lofty expectations prior to entering the real estate market. However, this individual should consider his or her finances before submitting a mortgage application.
With a budget in hand, a homebuyer can establish realistic expectations as he or she tries to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Plus, this homebuyer may be better equipped than others to obtain pre-approval for a mortgage and accelerate his or her search for the perfect residence.
Lastly, it may be worthwhile for a first-time homebuyer to meet with a real estate agent to learn more about assorted mortgage options.
A real estate agent understands the challenges associated with purchasing a house for the first time. As a result, this housing market professional can teach a homebuyer about all aspects of the property buying journey and help this buyer plan accordingly.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can set up home showings, keep a homebuyer up to date about new residences as they become available and negotiate with a home seller on a buyer's behalf. This housing market professional will even provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations to make it easy for a property buyer to acquire a top-notch residence at a budget-friendly price.
Move one step closer to purchasing your dream house – use the aforementioned tips, and a first-time homebuyer can speed up the process of getting pre-approved for a mortgage.