Ideally, the house-hunting process should be easy. In reality, finding a home can be fun, but it’s no easy task — especially if you’re a first-time buyer. Thus, it’s important to take full advantage of the time you spend touring. As the buyer, keep in mind that this is your process. It’s not uncommon to be swayed by the opinions of others. You might also feel bad for your agent if you don’t find something you love right away. But, allowing pressure to creep in can lead you to overlook things that might otherwise be deal-breakers or settle for homes that don’t tick all your must-have boxes. Proper preparation can put you in the right mindset and help you find the home that’s right for you with limited stress.
It’s important when looking at potential homes, to have a clear picture of what you are and aren’t looking for in a property. Whether it’s in your phone or on an actual sheet of paper, it’s good to keep a list of must-haves at your fingertips to help keep things in perspective while you’re on the hunt. Details like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, architectural style, even yard size, are all list-worthy items.
It can also really benefit you in your search to make a list of deal-breakers, so you don’t lose sight of things you absolutely won’t compromise on when feeling the pressure to come to a decision later. It’s important to make sure you know what you want and don’t want before you start looking. You’ll want to have your lists with you while you’re out touring properties and keep them at hand when browsing listings online to pick where to view in person, so get those lists together even before you begin to browse online.
Take Photos And Notes
We all think we’re going to remember everything we see, especially our favorite details, but we won’t. When touring multiple homes, it’s easy to kind of blend them all together in your mind. Taking lots of photos — at least a couple of overview photos of each room — and brief but informative notes about anything positive or negative that stands out will help you make better comparisons later on. It may sound silly, but giving each home a nickname based on a stand-out feature (ie: Spanish Tile, or Wrap-Around Porch) will also help you discern among all the homes you see.
Dress For The Occasion
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important to be comfortable while out and about. While most of our shoes are comfortable enough for our daily activities, those activities don’t typically include distance walking. Aside from walking multiple properties each day, if you decide you really like a home, you may decide you want to explore the neighborhood to see what else it has to offer. Bottom line: You’ll likely be doing quite a bit of walking, so comfortable shoes are a must.
The house-hunting process can be exciting, as long as you’re prepared and don’t lose sight of the things that are most important to you. The home you end up buying may not have the claw-foot tub you’ve always wanted but can still tick all of your primary must-have boxes. Doing some research so you know what to expect will help minimize home buying stress.