Do you find it difficult to decide which home you want to live in? Once you get involved in the house hunting mode, you are sure to run into this situation. Torn between two (or more) houses? It is normal to harbor fears about making the wrong decision when you’re looking at homes to buy. Many first-time home buyers wonder how they will know when they have found the right house. This decision should be taken seriously.
These 5 tips can help you stay organized and focused on important things during your house hunt.
THE HOUSE FITS YOUR BASIC NEEDS
The dynamics might not hit every bullet point on your list, but it meets the basic requirements. The house has the number of rooms and space you need. Beyond the basics (beds and baths) consider including notes on landscaping, the condition of the roof, exterior, natural light in each room, storage space and cost per square foot. If you walk into the master bedroom and immediately can envision your bed against a particular wall, this might be your house. If you find yourself thinking that the living room window is a perfect spot to put your holiday Christmas tree, you’re already hooked.
THE HOUSE MEETS YOUR EXTERNAL CRITERIA
Even if the house is perfect, it may not be right for you if it doesn’t meet your external criteria. Having children often determines which neighborhood you choose. Close to schools and parks. What if you have no children and enjoy night life and shopping? This would be something else to consider. What about the streets and the landscaping? How long will it take to get to work?
YOU CAN AFFORD IT
Millennials and first time buyers are particularly daunted by home affordability. This is the key. Sure, I could look at a $500,000 house and see all of the above, but I can’t afford the house, so it’s not right for me. What is the alternative? Look for a home near transportation, or at least within a short drive to work and other important aspects in your life. This will allow comfortability, while keeping you just outside the priciest areas.
CHECK IN AND CHECK OUT
It is important to get a good look at the house that could be your new home, so make a point of focusing on things outside your usual line of vision. Check out the ceilings, walls, floors, trim, windows, roof and under the sinks. Check out the property at different times throughout the day. Come back for a second showing, make it during a different time from when you saw it the first time. In the evening, notice not only the changes in light, but the atmosphere in the neighborhood. Are people out sitting on porches? Are kids playing outside? Is it noisy? You are bound to learn and discover different things about the house each time.
ASK TO TAKE PHOTOS (OR EVEN A VIDEO)
It’s amazing how quickly memory fades. Make sure you have a backup by creating a floor plan and taking photos or a short video tour if possible. This will really give you a full picture of what the house looks like. Be sure to ask the Realtor for permission before taking any photos or videos.