A few of our basic tips to make your house hunting process as painless as possible.
Searching for a house can be a chore, but we're here to help make it easier with a quick list of things to get you started to find your perfect home.
Get up to speed on your credit score
You’ve found your dream home, it’s beautiful, in budget, exactly what you’re looking for, and then your mortgage lender gives you a call that your credit score is too low to be approved for your home loan. Avoid the last minute panic by being prepared and researching your credit score.
What kind of home can you afford?
It’s fun to look at crazy houses with indoor water-slides and massive libraries, but in order to avoid wasting your (and your agent’s) time, you should determine what kind of home is within your budget. You can use this calculator as a way to gauge your future expenses.
No mid life crisis!
Ok, so we’re not telling to not dye your hair fire engine red, or not to join a gym to get that gorgeous beach bod you’ve always wanted, but something you should not do is make any drastic financial choices. When you are preparing to buy a home, you need to stabilize your income and be planning and budgeting, this is not the time to buy your dream motorcycle or red convertible.
Look for a real estate agent (we vote you choose us)
There are a lot of steps and factors to buying a home, especially if you are a first time buyer. While you are falling in love with a home with vaulted ceilings, you could be missing the fact that your heating bill will be through the roof in the winter time, or that the furnace is a million years old. Hiring a real estate agent is an investment that will save you money and potential heartache in the future, with an extra pair of eyes looking out for your best interest.
Write a dream list
This is the fun part, making a list of things you want and need in your house. Don’t confuse the two though, you need a stable foundation but you may want heated floors. Have fun with it, making yourself aware of the features that you’re looking for will make house hunting all the easier, for you and your agent.
Look at online listings
Scrolling through online listings may not sound thrilling, but it is a great way to get a feel for what you like for home that are in your budget. Realtor.com is a great website that lets you search by price range, bedroom count, area, and list of additional features to hone in on your perfect home.
Visit open houses
Going to see a house in person is different than clicking through monotonous photos on your laptop. Go to a few showings and open houses to see how the homes translate from the listings and see how you like different features from each home, this will (hopefully) excite you during the house hunting process and let you gain some insider knowledge on what to look for and avoid when searching for your home.