Category Archives: house tours

Home Buying Checklist for Your Home Search

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new home Many a buyer has gone into a home search feeling ready to find a new home. After a few house tours into the home search, however, an overwhelming reality sets in: a home search is more than just house tours and writing up a contract. A new home search is also a bit of a process of finding out what kind of home fits you, so you can approach those house tours knowing what you need, and want, in a new home (there is a difference). Once you understand that your new home search is a process, take the proper steps to prepare for the reality of searching for a new home—without feeling overwhelmed:

  • Make a ‘must have’ list—and be prepared for it to change. Figuring out what you want before you buy is essential to property ownership success. Do you want a big backyard? Where do you want to live? Is the location of the new home important? Do you want a big yard with a lot of maintenance? Once you have a list, know that there is a high probability that items on your list may change, or take a higher priority over another item, as you go through a few house tours. It’s okay to change as you learn what you want—and don’t want—in your new home. You may not get everything in your new home.
  • Know how handy you are. If you haven’t picked up a hammer recently—or ever—perhaps that fixer upper is not the new home for you. Know your limitations and take on a new home that fits your experience. If you don’t have a lot of experience with a screw gun, but still want to put your personal touch on a home, look for a property that has small, manageable projects.
  • Prepare yourself for the unexpected. The buying and owning process is full of unpredictable twists and turns. Learn how to handle one of them, a bad home inspection, in our recent post. Once the home inspection is settled, be ready for repairs and expenses incurred in a new home. Put an account aside for unforeseen problems, and budget accordingly.
  • Find out how much you can afford. The feeling of being overwhelmed does not just come from buying that fixer upper you can’t fix.  Buyers commonly jump in over their head financially by not accounting for all the expenses—utilities, property taxes, etc.—that come with home ownership. Meet with your lender and find out how much of a monthly payment you can afford, then take those numbers home and use them to set up house tours at properties you can afford.

Don’t be afraid to ask your realtor for help throughout your new home search. Realtors are there for more than just writing up the contract and schedule house tours. They are also your guide as you navigate through the new home search, without getting overwhelmed.