If you want to move from one house to another, or you’re an apartment dweller, and you want to buy a home for the first time, there are some things you can do to get ready. There are logical house hunting steps, and you should not neglect any of them. You want to have a positive experience and end up in your ideal home.
We’ll go over some house hunting tips now to get you started.
Retain a Lawyer or Realtor
One of the first things to do if you’re house hunting is to retain an attorney or retailer. If you get a lawyer, they should know all about real estate. You don’t want to get something like a personal injury lawyer if you want someone who’s a real estate specialist.
You do not legally need a realtor when you buy a home. You might want one because they’ll likely know all about the neighborhood and city in which you’re trying to buy a house.
As for a lawyer, you may want one while house hunting because:
- They can make sure all the paperwork is correct
- They can do title searches and uncover any problems
- They can safeguard your rights and interests
Real estate law has some tricky areas, and you don’t want to make a mistake that could cost you thousands. Your lawyer can keep that from happening.
Make a Want Vs. Need List
Next, you can sit down with your family and make a list of things you want from a home versus those you need.
Your wants might be things like central air and a garage. Your needs might be two full bathrooms and three bedrooms. Each individual and family must decide what house features go on which list.
Download Some Real Estate Apps
You should check out some of the real estate websites and apps that exist today. You might look at:
All of these have slightly different features, but some of the same ones as well. With each of them, you can look at particular neighborhood home listings.
You can look at what a seller wants for their house, the square footage, and how many rooms it has. Most homes will have exterior and interior pictures.
With most of these apps, you can see how much crime is in the neighborhood. You can see the home’s amenities and its selling history. You can see what the average yearly property taxes are and what’s nearby.
If you’re at home, you can check out one of these websites, but if you’re going to look at houses in-person, you should download at least one of their smartphone apps. That way, you can look at a home’s details on the app when you’re sitting right in front of it.
Head to an Open House or Schedule a Viewing
After you narrow your search down to a few likely targets, you can see if any of them are having open house events soon. If they are, you should go to them. That will allow you to walk through the house and see what you think of it, and it will also show you how many other individuals or families are in the market.
If there is no open house, you can contact the home’s owner or real estate agent representing them and set up a time for you to look at it. You should take notes as you go.
After you see the home’s inside and outside, you’ll know whether you could see yourself in it or whether you want to look elsewhere.
See the Home at Different Times of the Day and Night
Maybe you’ve narrowed the list down at this point to a couple of possible houses. The next thing to do is to see them at different times of the day.
You might see what’s happening on that street and in that neighborhood at noon on a Wednesday, and then you may go back and look again at eight o’clock on a Saturday night. You’re trying to see whether this is a rowdy neighborhood.
You should figure out if you’ll feel safe there and how noisy it sometimes gets. The more different times you go back, the better of an impression you should get. There will be no surprises if you move forward and put in a bid.
If one of the houses you’ve selected still seems perfect for you, you’re ready to look into financing.