Our Real Estate Blog
Since there are so many things to keep in mind when searching for the right home, it can be very helpful to create a priority list. If you're at the beginning of the house-hunting process, one of the best ways to clarify your thoughts is by organizing them in a notebook or on a computer screen.
As is the case with creating any kind of plan, you need to start with the basics and then branch out from there. While a house-hunting plan can and should change as you proceed forward, once you start visiting listings, your insights will begin to deepen. If you happen to be working with an experienced real estate agent, they will help you refine your search and zero-in on listings that are the best match to your needs.
Although you probably already know how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want, it may be time to come up with a more specific picture of what you're looking for, in terms of square footage, lot size, neighborhood walkability, and distance from neighbors.
As you revise your list of requirements, you may decide to rank the importance of items like a screened-in porch, a backyard patio, a wood-burning fireplace, yard size, the age of the house, and whether you'd like a finished basement or attic.
Many people prioritize the size, layout, and functionality of the kitchen, too, so take into consideration your decorating tastes, the size of your family -- both today and five years from now -- and how often you expect to be entertaining guests. Perusing kitchen layouts and remodeling ideas online can help you clarify the type of counters, flooring, appliances, and cabinets that would please you the most.
Other features that will determine your level of satisfaction with a new home may include the architectural style of the house, the quality of the school district, and various convenience factors, such as nearby grocery stores, public parks, and medical/dental services. Commuting time to your job or business can also have a huge impact on your lifestyle, as well as your weekly budget and personal stress level! When choosing a neighborhood in which you'll feel comfortable, you'll also want to pay attention to first impressions, the amount of traffic on the street, and miscellaneous noises you hear while visiting the neighborhood.
Above all, try to avoid making snap decisions based on emotional factors, time constraints, or the fear of not being able to find "anything better." Although there may be days in which the prospects seem slim, it's essential that you maintain a positive outlook and be confident that new listings and fresh possibilities are always cropping up. Working with a seasoned buyer's agent who's familiar with the local market and is responsive to your needs will also help immeasurably in your search for the perfect new home!
Believe it or not, even a first-time homebuyer can become a property buying expert. If you plan ahead for the homebuying journey, you can quickly and easily navigate the path from homebuyer to homeowner.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you master the homebuying journey.
1. Create Homebuying Criteria
If you know you want to buy a home in the foreseeable future, it generally is a good idea to create property buying criteria. That way, you'll know what you want to find in your dream residence and can map out your home search accordingly.
For instance, if you prefer big city life, you may want to hone your house search to a select group of cities. On the other hand, if you want to own a house that offers a large backyard and an in-ground swimming pool, you may want to search for homes that fall in line with your expectations.
2. Get Home Financing
As a homebuyer, you likely will need to secure a mortgage so you can acquire your dream residence. Fortunately, there is no shortage of banks and credit unions across the United States that are happy to help you obtain home financing.
Take a look at the mortgage options available from a variety of banks and credit unions – you'll be happy you did. By conducting an in-depth evaluation of your home financing options, you can make an informed mortgage selection.
Of course, home financing can be complicated. And if you have any concerns or questions, don't hesitate to ask a bank or credit union for assistance. Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable home financing specialists, and these professionals can provide mortgage insights you may struggle to obtain elsewhere.
3. Hire a Real Estate Agent
If you're unsure how you'll navigate the homebuying journey, there is no need to worry. Dozens of real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can offer comprehensive homebuying insights.
For those who want to master the homebuying journey, it often is beneficial to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional can teach you about different aspects of the homebuying journey. Plus, he or she is ready to provide homebuying recommendations and suggestions as you search for your ideal residence.
In addition, a real estate agent offers extensive assistance at each stage of the homebuying journey. From the moment you start your home search to the moment you finalize your home purchase agreement, a real estate agent is available to help. Best of all, a real estate agent will help you alleviate stress as you consider houses and ensure you can make the best-possible home purchase decision.
As you get set to enter the real estate market, you should strive to become a homebuying expert. Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can master the homebuying journey and discover and buy your dream residence in no time at all.
If you plan to purchase a house soon, you may want to narrow your home search. In fact, there are many reasons why you should hone your house search, and these include:
1. You can seamlessly navigate the homebuying journey.
The homebuying journey may seem tough to navigate, regardless of whether you're a first-time or experienced property buyer. Thankfully, narrowing a home search enables you to speed up the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
Ultimately, a refined home search allows you to focus exclusively on residences in your preferred cities and towns. This will make it simple for you to find houses that fall within your price range, set up home showings to view these residences and proceed accordingly.
It also may be beneficial to craft a list of home must-haves and wants before you conduct a house search. With homebuying criteria at your disposal, you can further accelerate the homebuying journey.
2. You can act quickly to acquire your dream house.
As a homebuyer, you must be ready to pounce at the opportunity to purchase your dream house. Because if you hesitate during the homebuying journey, you may miss out on the chance to buy your ideal residence.
If you narrow your home search, you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to act quickly to submit an offer to purchase a great house at an affordable price. And if your offer to purchase is accepted, you then can move one step closer to acquiring your dream home.
3. You can avoid wasting time and resources.
When it comes to finding a home, it generally is a good idea to plan ahead as much as possible. That way, you can avoid the risk of wasting time and resources throughout the homebuying journey.
With a refined home search, you can increase the likelihood of maximizing your time and resources. A refined home search ensures you can focus solely on residences that you are sure to enjoy and avoid houses that are unlikely to match your expectations. Then, you can find your ideal home and transform your homeownership dream into a reality.
As you get ready to start a house search, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent. By hiring a real estate agent, you can receive plenty of support as you evaluate residences.
A real estate agent understands what it takes to find a house in any city or town. He or she will learn about you and your homebuying goals and offer personalized home search tips. Plus, a real estate agent will set up home showings and keep you up to date about open house events. Perhaps most important, a real estate agent will respond to your homebuying concerns and questions and ensure you can make informed decisions at each stage of the homebuying journey.
Take the guesswork out of finding the right house at the right price – hire a real estate agent, and you can receive expert assistance as you search for your ideal residence.
A home inspection often plays a key role in the homebuying journey. If an inspection shows that there are no underlying problems with a house, you should have no trouble moving forward with a home purchase. On the other hand, if an inspection reveals a variety of structural problems with a house, you may need to reconsider your purchase decision.
Ultimately, a homebuyer who knows what to expect during a home inspection can plan accordingly. This buyer also may be better equipped than others to accept the results of an inspection and make an informed choice about whether to move forward with a home purchase.
What does it take to achieve the best-possible results during a home inspection? To find out, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can prep for a house inspection.
1. Hire an Expert Home Inspector
There is no shortage of home inspectors available in cities and towns nationwide. However, employing an expert home inspector will require you to conduct an in-depth search.
When it comes to finding an expert home inspector, it pays to search far and wide. Because if you have an expert home inspector at your side, you can boost the likelihood of identifying major and minor house issues during an inspection.
2. Assess Every Area of a House
Oftentimes, a home inspection takes several hours to complete, and for good reason. In order to fully evaluate a residence, you'll want to be diligent. That way, you can minimize the risk of missing potential problems as you perform a home assessment.
As you walk through your house with an inspector, don't hesitate to ask questions too. In fact, a home inspector may be able to provide insights into home problems and repairs that you might struggle to obtain elsewhere.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent can help you find your dream house, as well as put you in touch with the top home inspectors in your area. Plus, this housing market professional likely will walk through a house with you during an inspection to ensure you can get the support you need to make an informed homebuying decision.
Furthermore, a real estate agent is happy to consult with you before and after a home inspection. Prior to an inspection, a real estate agent will help you put together a plan to assess a house. Meanwhile, after an inspection, a real estate agent can discuss the inspection results with you and help you determine the best course of action.
Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent can provide throughout the homebuying journey, either. This housing market professional can help you streamline your search for your dream house, submit a competitive offer on a residence and ensure you can purchase a terrific house at a budget-friendly price.
A home inspection may seem daunting at first. Luckily, if you plan ahead for a home inspection, you can use the assessment to gain the insights that you need to determine whether a house is right for you.
If you intend to buy a house, you probably will check out a lot of home listings over the next few days and weeks. However, it is important to note that not all home listings are created equal, and how you analyze home listings may dictate your homebuying success.
Ultimately, there are several factors that homebuyers need to consider as they assess home listings, and these factors include:
The price of a home is one of the key factors – if not the most important factor – that a homebuyer needs to consider in a home listing. Because if you ignore a home's price, you risk wasting precious time and resources as you pursue a home that falls outside your price range.
When it comes to buying a home, it pays to develop a budget ahead of time. That way, you'll know how much you can spend on a residence and can tailor your home search to fit your budget.
You may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to looking at home listings as well. By doing so, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand and explore available residences that won't force you to spend beyond your means.
Are you looking for a fixer-upper or a brand-new residence? Take a look at a home's condition, and you can determine whether a particular residence is right for you.
Oftentimes, a decades-old residence may require myriad upgrades. This means you may need to allocate significant time and resources to enhance the condition of an old house after you finalize your home purchase.
On the other hand, it is essential to remember that a new house may prove to be more expensive than an old residence. And if you're on the lookout for a bargain, you may want to shy away from listings for brand-new houses.
Creating a list of must-have home features is ideal, as this will enable you to narrow your search for your dream residence.
For instance, if you want a home that has a big swimming pool, you can browse home listings accordingly. Or, if you would like to buy a house that is located near some of the nation's best schools, you can focus on home listings in cities and towns that feature top-rated schools.
If you want to streamline your home search, it usually helps to look beyond home listings. Fortunately, real estate agents are available to help you accelerate your search for the perfect residence.
A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market. He or she will learn about your homebuying goals and provide you with the latest home listings. Then, a real estate agent will work with you to simplify your home search and ensure that you can discover a terrific residence at an unbeatable price.
Take the guesswork out of reviewing home listings – use the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly evaluate a wide range of home listings and find your dream house.