Ready to Buy? Here Are 7 Ways to Prepare for House Hunting

You’ve saved your down payment, you’ve gotten your pre-qualification from your lender and even made your list of priorities. But, before you start that home search, here are seven things to keep in mind:

Plan ahead so you don’t lose out.

There’s nothing worse than finding the house of your dreams only to lose out to another buyer because your financing wasn’t in order. Don’t wait until you’ve found a home to get approved for a mortgage. The same holds true for checking out insurance or getting some moving estimates. Being prepared allows you to bid more confidently and in the case of financing, your offer becomes stronger in the eyes of the seller. 

Don’t get caught up in too many opinions.

It’s natural to seek out reassurance from trusted family and friends when you’re making such a huge decision. But, too many ideas from too many people can make it more difficult to come to a decision. Focus on the opinions and needs of the people who will actually live in the home.

Accept that no house is perfect.

Yes, you can make your list of priorities. But, that doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to check every single item of your list. You may find the perfect kitchen for entertaining, but it might be two neighborhoods away form where you hoped to land. You could find the open floor plan you had i mind, but the master suite might be smaller than you’d hoped. It pays to put your priorities in order so you to focus on the major items and let the minor ones go. Also, a little buyer’s remorse is normal and usually passes quickly. 

Remember you won’t be living in a vacuum.

When a home’s interior absolutely wows you, it’s easy to forget about everything else. But it’s important not to get caught up in the home’s physical features and forget about important things like traffic noise, the neighborhood, access to amenities, length of commute, and even landscaping. 

Focus on the home you love; then think about appreciation.

When you’re searching for your primary residence, job number one should be to find a home you love—one that fits your lifestyle. While a home is still considered a great investment, finding the right place to enjoy as your home in the years to come should be your top priority. 

Realize that negotiations go both ways.

Negotiation is definitely a part of the real estate process, but don’t focus on winning at all costs. Refusing to budge because you insist on getting a super low price will probably end up costing you a home that would have been perfect. As your real estate agent, I can offer my experience in negotiating so you can get the house you want under the best terms possible.

Understand there’s simply no “right” time to buy.

You may start your home search now and find the perfect home right out of the gate. Don’t pass it up because you think you’ll get a better deal down the road. As your agent, I can provide you with the data you’ll need to determine if the home is priced right. Buyers are enjoying historically good interest rates right now. Trying to guess that there might be lower prices months from now forgets to take into account the current interest rate, which you will enjoy over the life of your loan on a fixed rate mortgage. It also means you risk not finding a home you like quite as much as the one you have your eyes on today.

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