“Insider Secrets for Buying a Home” Series
Buying a home can be confusing. That’s why the tips and strategies you’ll find in my 8-week series will set you on the right path. It’s my own unique approach and a “behind the scenes” glimpse of what you should look out for and consider when starting your own search for a home.
Many home buyers look forward to finally visiting listings and stepping into an actual home they’ve seen only online.
At this point, you’ve gone through what seems like the hard part — determining your needs and wants with your agent, talking to lenders, getting approved, lots of paperwork, narrowing down neighborhoods, plus time spent thinking, hoping, dreaming.
Now comes the fun part … looking at homes every weekend!
House hunting can be exciting and even fun at times, but you still need to have a strategy in place. That’s why the tips below can give you an added edge. It covers 2 things you should never do, and 2 things you should do. It’s that simple.
DON’T take in too much at once.
House hunting is waaaay different from any other kind of shopping.
For one, there are only a certain number of homes (generally about 6 to 8) that you should see during one outing.
Seeing more than 6-8 homes will completely stress you out and wear you down! You don’t want to overdo it on any day or it all becomes a giant blur.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, it might mean that you need to narrow your search. Go back to the drawing board and focus on your criteria and budget. Don’t waste time looking at homes in areas you’d never live in — that can add to the confusion and make this process much harder!
DON’T take advice from everyone in your life.
When it comes to making one of the biggest purchases of your life, it’s good to have input from those closest to you, but in the end, put your blinders on and…
“You. Do. YOU.”
It’s nice to have family and friends go through showings with you, but often this can lead to there being too many cooks in the kitchen. Everyone has an opinion and will want to give it.
If you can’t LIMIT the feedback, get comfortable with letting it go in one ear and out the other. Only accept feedback from people whose opinions you value and think will contribute a positive impact on your decision.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to buying a home. Your financial situation, criteria, and long- and short-term goals might be completely different than someone offering you advice.
Yes – even if it’s your mom, dad, or children…
Say thanks but no thanks to friends and family with little home-buying experience or those who want to offer their opinion but you know will provide no real benefit to your decision-making.
You are the one who will need to make the final decision, but it doesn’t hurt to surround yourself with a few trusted friends or family members who can offer constructive feedback. But, above all, limit your time with those who will confuse you and complicate your house hunting.
DO get some evidence and reminders on each home.
Even when you limit the number of homes you see in one day, you’re still going to get confused and mix things up!
If you end up liking the home, I recommend taking some pictures or shooting a quick video before you leave. Also taking some specific and descriptive notes can be helpful as well.
You don’t have to get a shot of every angle, but a good front and back picture, with a few detailed photos of the interior can help you remember features, amenities, and floor plans that will influence your decision. This is where video comes in – it’s great for this! (Pro tip: take only 1 video per home – just pause during recording – and shoot yourself saying the address at the beginning. Otherwise you’ll have multiple videos and not remember which video goes with which house.)
The photos/videos and the notes will come in handy when you’re comparing your options later that day or the next day (depending on how fast you need to put in an offer).
DO take a second look.
When it comes to making one of the biggest purchases of your life, try to get a 2nd showing of any home you’re interested in making an offer on.
That said, depending on the current market and how fast things are moving, this may or may not be possible.
But it IS hard to take everything in at once, so when you have a good feeling about a certain property, try to schedule a revisit to validate any feelings you may have.You’ll be amazed at what you missed that first time around.
Take these four little-known house hunting tips to heart and you’ll be one step ahead of everyone else out there! And, stay tuned for next week’s article, Answers to all Buyer’s Most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)!
I'm Mike and I love helping buyers discover what's really important in their forever home, then working to find that in Chicago's
Northwest Suburbs. I also have a soft spot in my heart for teachers and love giving back to them whenever I can. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true.
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