Heading out to look at homes and seeing more than one in a day can be overwhelming. When you get home you cannot remember if the master bedroom with the walk in closet was in the first house or the third house. You look at the photos online and it is hard to tell. If this has happened to you, don’t worry. You are not alone. Here are a few tips to help you as you head out to view houses.
Be sure to get pre-approved for a mortgage. You do not want to to be looking at house between $450-500,000 and then find out that you can only get a mortgage for a house up to $400,000. It is hard to adjust your expectations and start looking at houses in a lower price bracket when you have your heart set on the home worth $500,000.
Write down what is most important to you in a home. If applicable, ask your partner to do the same and then compare. Make sure that you are on the same page and know what you are willing to compromise on before you start looking. For example, you are willing to do some renovations if the location is perfect. Otherwise, you do not want to do renovations. Or, what is more important, square footage or lot size?
When you walk through houses, take notes. Even if you do not like the house and know you will not buy it, write down why. Then, when it comes back on the market with a price reduction, you remember why you did not like it. Your time is valuable. Spend it looking at places that are possibilities not revisiting ones you know you will not buy no matter what the price.
Check the house for damage or areas of improvements. Is there enough storage? Where can you securely park your bikes? Get the answers to as many questions as you can so that you are faced with less unknowns when you buy the house.
If you are considering putting an offer in on a home, drive by it at different times of the day. Pay attention to the noise level at the different times of the day and where the sun is at times of the day.
Be sure to imagine the potential of the home and see past the ‘stuff’ in the house. Is the current owner a pack rat and all of their belongings make the rooms look smaller than they really are? Check your mental image against the floor plan and the square footage of where you are currently living. Don’t get caught up in the paint colour on the walls. Paint is cheap and an easy way to change the feel of a house.
Happy House Hunting!
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