House hunting tips to make the right choice
You don’t want to miss out on their dream house. Even if you are a year away from buying it, you can jump-start the process.
Here are some house hunting tips to make sure you are ready as soon as the opportunity knocks at you.
Get pre-approved for a mortgage.
It’s thrilling to follow any house you find online but it can be frustrating if you don’t know the budget or the sort of support you might apply for.
Start hunting for your house by getting a mortgage pre-approved. Getting pre-approved offers you an indication about what a bank is able to lend you and it tells sellers you are ready to invest. Remember, just because you’re approved by a lender for a certain amount doesn’t mean you should spend so much on your home.
The higher the down payment, means lower the monthly payment because you are borrowing less, and it’s your advantage in highly competitive markets. In many cases, if you pay for property mortgage insurance, you can spend less than the recommended minimum of 20 percent on a down payment.
Know where you want to live
Your location determines which school your kids attend, the length of your commute, how far the store, and possibly where you’re going to socialize — that is, where and how you’re going to live your life.
Consider what kind of neighborhood you ‘d like. Will you want a large gated neighborhood, a quiet place for your everyday jogging with tree-lined sidewalks, or a grand acreage without neighbors? Think about the way you want to live. Would you like to be surrounded by nature, or live close to restaurants and bars? There are bike lanes in there? Is there adequate street lighting in there?
The earlier you start to weigh up the pros and cons, the more flexibility you’ll have to determine what’s most relevant to you regarding the position of your house.
Assess the must-haves of your dream home
Consider the specific features and amenities you want and need, is almost as critical as the location.
Before your quest starts, mention features that are utter must-haves, such as the number of bedrooms, the scale of the yard, number of floors, age (do you want a traditional look or anything constructed in the past decade?), and general state. Some owners may be willing to tackle a fixer-upper, especially for a lower price-point, while others might prefer anything ready to move in.
Then consider what features you ‘d love to have, but you can live without, or you could add. You may have also dreamed of a wrap-around deck, but this isn’t a deal-breaker. Your spouse may want a swimming pool but is willing to stretch out for a two-car garage.
Remember your checklist during the home search
You’ll more than likely discover your dream home online before you ever step inside. Most home buyers are starting to hunt online. Just potential buyers age 71 or older first shift to a real estate representative. But how do you use your online quest to the fullest? It’s probably not a good idea to favor every home you like. The number of homes that have anything enticing will get you bogged down. Instead, check out your checklist to see if a home satisfies your criteria. Although they don’t, move on. If they do, test the place. Talk to your spouse or partner, then put it on your list of homes to visit.
You’ll have whittled down the options when you’re finally ready to tour houses, which will save time and make the decision process a lot easier.
Canvas the area
Driving around to spot signs entitled “For sale by owner” is a fun way to spend a lazy Sunday, and you may find a home you haven’t met online. Also, 49% of home buyers sought out yard signs during their house-hunting experience according to the report of the National Association of Realtors in 2017.
You could see houses offered directly through the owner or a mortgage (if the house is a foreclosure) rather than a real estate agency — so this may imply fewer bidder pressure so likely a fair offer or more relaxed deals.
If you notice that there are so many houses for sale in the area, there may be a reason for this, like a nearby new construction project that may block views or cause traffic congestion.
You could pause and get the inside scoop and speak to some locals.
Visit open houses, for the win
Even if you’re not buying soon, you can help align your online results with reality by visiting a few open houses. Images and interactive tours are no replacement for visiting a home in person.
You will get to know the dynamics of the home, too. Spending time in an open house allows you to evaluate the flow of the layout of the home, open doors, check out the basement, listen for cracks on the stairs, and stand in the yard, soaking in the neighborhood’s sights and sounds (good or bad).
Other potential buyers may also ask questions that get the owner or real estate agent to obtain essential information. Around the same moment, you can get an indication of how much attention a house attracts and how many buyers are willing to purchase.
Explore pre-market home listings
Any houses on a multiple listing service (MLS) have not been placed up for sale yet, and are deemed pre-market.
Having a pre-market home will imply less pressure from buyers. In certain situations, you can have somebody’s wind ready to sell a property, so you can strike an offer until the property is publicly mentioned.
You may even query acquaintances, families, and coworkers if they know someone is preparing to list a house or share your message on your social networking networks early.
Although there is much to consider before buying a home, it can be a game-changer to start early. Seek to schedule time for the cycle every week. Place monthly or bi-monthly time limits. The more time you focus on planning, the easier it will be to recognize when you see your dream home.
A good REALTOR® can aide you make the right offer for the property you’re interested in buying. For a free valuation, contact us at 401-396-2888. We’re always glad to help!