The Best House Hunting Tips

November 25, 2019 Posted in Housing Tips / By Amber Hughes

Whether you are moving on short notice, or you have been planning to buy a new home for a very long time, you’ll be looking for the best house hunting tips. It doesn’t matter if you have moved many times before or if you are a first-time buyer, you’ll find the search to be the most exciting step of the moving process. You will certainly find yourself wondering when to start house hunting and how to properly prepare for the entire process. The following tips will, hopefully, answer all of your questions and help you avoid any common mistakes people make when looking for a new residence.

couple buying a house
With the few tips you can find a home of your dreams

Before You Start Hunting Save Up

You may be very eager to get out there and start looking for real estate as soon as you feel that it’s time to move out and you have valid reasons to move. But, the entire searching process requires a lot of planning and organization. Organizing your finances before you do anything else should be your number one priority. You will be surprised by all the costs and expenses of the moving process.

Furthermore, when organizing the relocation you have to factor in expenses like hiring long distance moving company. This might seem unnecessary, however, using long-distance moving services will save you from the tedious packing process, as well as car shipping and other manual work. That’s why, before making any important moves, start saving up. You will be thanking yourself if you start saving up now instead of missing out on the home of your dreams because you didn’t organize your budget properly.

model of a house and a pile of coins
Start saving money long before you even start your search

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage or Loan

Perhaps you will find a residence that looks like everything you’ve ever dreamed of, but it will be far outside your budget, which would be very disappointing. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage will give you a good idea of what your budget will be and how much you can borrow. So write down how much you earn, take out the expenses and taxes, and sort out what your moving budget will be. When you determine how much you’re willing to spend on down payment and monthly payments, you can start looking for a new residence.

model of a house and keys
re-Approved mortgage will save you a lot of time.

Identify What You’re Looking for in Your New Home

It’s usually for the best to have a rough idea about what kind of property you would like to buy. So, sit down and think this through. How large of a building would you like, how many stories, how many rooms? Are you moving from apartment to house or vice versa? All of this info will be helpful. Both in your search for a new residence and for your real estate agent too.

laptop on a table
Write down a list of all the things you want and those you don’t

Create a Must-Have Checklist

Once you have zeroed in on what you want your future domicile to be like, it’s important to go through your list again, and decide on the “Must-haves” and “Wants.” The chance of you finding the homestead of your dreams is slim, but something close to your ideal image is doable. This is why you should separate what your future place of residence must-have, and the things which you would like it to have.

If you’re planning on starting a family, or are already moving with your family, you’ll need a larger residence, which means more bedrooms. Your must-haves should also include any essential utilities especially if you are relocating with kids. As opposed to the must-haves, the wants category should comprise of your preferences, but not necessarily deal-breakers.

house checklist
Write down what you must have and what you want

Rely on Your Checklist When House Hunting

So once you get started with house searching, you can always rely on your checklist of needs and wants when making any important decisions. You have to be realistic about your situation if you like a certain piece of property. If it doesn’t fulfill any of your must-haves – maybe it’s not the one. On the other hand, if some residence checks out all of your must-haves, but not necessarily all of the wants, it might be your best option. This is one of the most important tips when searching for a house, as it can save you a lot of time, money and nerves. So, ignoring the perfect picture you have of your home-to-be and making some compromises will be very important.

house with a front yard
Your checklist will help you make the right decision

You’ll Want to Check out a Number of Open Houses

If you have some free time, it would be a good idea to drive around the area you’d like to move to, and check if there are houses for sale. Maybe you’ll stumble upon your dream house, which you wouldn’t find otherwise. You should check out a number of open houses, even if you don’t plan on buying one currently. This way, you will get a lot of information about what could possibly be your new residence. You can see if you like the neighborhood, you can learn about the layout of the place and the yard, and you’ll have a better idea of what exactly you are looking for.

open house sign
Open houses can give you a good idea of what to look for

Find a Home Online

Thanks to the technology we have today, you can look for your future residence online, with some of the listings even providing virtual tours. So don’t forget that you can use the internet when looking for a property. Not only will you be able to cast a wider net, but you will also be able to preview the properties online. You can then create a shortlist of properties you’d like to check out in person or ask for more photos and videos, if possible. Some of the most popular websites you can use for this purpose are Realtor.com, Zillow.com, and Trulia.com. Keep in mind that you can create an account on the websites mentioned above, and save your searches as templates.

person working on a laptop
You can look for a residence online as well

Hire an Agent to Help With the Hunt

One of the most popular pieces of advice you’ll come across is to hire an agent to help you out. This is especially the case when it comes to being a first-time buyer, as there are many mistakes you’ll want to avoid. So keep this in mind, particularly because buying a property is a very important decision and a very expensive one as well. Here are some of the things that a real estate agent can help you with when searching for a new place of residence.

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Searching for a Home

One of the most important steps of the process is going through all of the different listings. This is just one of the tasks which a real estate agent can take care of for you. They’ll find suitable homes, using your instructions, and will organize the tours for you.

Getting the Best Price

A real estate agent can be very helpful when it comes to assessing the recent sales of homes in the area you’d like to move to. They can help and advise you on how much to pay and they can present the offer to the owner themselves. An experienced real estate agent can help you out with the negotiation of the deal as well.

Advice for Buying Real Estate

Not only can a real estate agent help you with finding a property and getting you the best prices, remember that they usually have years of experience in the realtor business. They have probably handled countless similar jobs before and will know how to best help you out during the entire searching process.

couple signing a contract
Getting professional help can make a big difference

Visit the Houses You Shortlisted

So if you’ve gone through the previous steps, you’ll find yourself with a shortlist of homes you are interested in. Now you, or your agent, can organize the tours and get started. Go through your shortlist, one by one, and write down everything you like or dislike about the houses. If you’d like to go a step further, you can take photos of the homes and make different folders for further evaluation. This will be very useful if your partner can’t go searching with you.

Don’t Forget Your Home Checklist

What’s the point of your checklist if you don’t bring it with you when you go looking for a new residence? It will prove helpful when evaluating the homes. You can add to it as you visit more homes, and create separate checklists for each one.

couple in front of the house
Visit every residence before putting it on a shortlist

Other Popular House Hunting Tips

Don’t forget that your time will be very important as you will probably have a lot of homes to visit. In case you found yourself having to plan a last-minute move, it will be of the essence. You may spend hours in one and minutes in different homes you don’t like, so plan ahead and get started as soon as possible. Looking around the residence is also among the most popular tips. Don’t be afraid to poke around and look inside different rooms – how else are you to know whether it’s a storage room or a bedroom on the other side.

House Makeover

Remember that you can do a makeover once you buy a piece of property. There are many things you will be able to change, as the décor, for example. Don’t let it be a deal-breaker if the homes you’re checking out fit most of your must-haves. You should be looking at the more important aspects, like the number of rooms and the view. There are many ways to improve your home before you move in.

Scout Ahead Before You Make the Decision

Do keep in mind that you’re buying a new residence for yourself and your family. You’re going to spend a part of your life, not only in this estate but also in the neighborhood. Check out the area in advance, perhaps you’ll find something you’ll like or a deal-breaker, maybe it is in an area too busy and loud for your liking.

person opening the door
Don't be afraid to look around and check out the entire place

Having a Dream Home Will Be Worth All the Trouble

When you finally find that place that feels like home, you’ll easily forget all the troubles of house-hunting. Then, after you buy the residence it is time to hire cross country movers to help you transport all of your belongings into a new home. While professional long-distance movers are doing all the grunt work, you’ll be able to relax and think about decoration and making the house feel like home.

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