Perhaps you are familiar with the term "house hunt." It refers to the process of finding a new place to call home, but house hunting isn't an activity that you just get into without a good plan. To have a successful house hunt, you need to prepare and to have knowledge about the entire process in order to get things done properly. Through this guide, you will learn about the resources you'll need when house hunting. You'll also discover some tips that will make your search faster and more efficient.
1Get Ready For House Hunting
Before you start your search for a new home, you must first check your needs and wants. Check your financial standing. Your finances take precedence because you need to have a budget which you must stick to. In addition, this is the best time to learn more about how you can get a mortgage.
It would be impossible to go to every open house, which is why you should narrow down your search by knowing what kinds of houses are on the market. Determine what your needs or wants are in terms of house features and think of the extra amenities that may convince you to make an offer. You should also make a list of the issues or features that you do not want in a house.
2Identify Your Criteria
Decide first on the location where you want to live. Do you prefer a house that's near where you work, or do you want something close to your children's school? In case you want to hire a real estate agent, choose one who is reliable and one who understands your needs.
Start your online research about listings and prices, particularly regarding properties that are within the locality where you wish to live. There are several resources that you can tap into if you wish to learn more about properties for sale, including your family and friends, local newspapers, magazines, listings of properties for sale, as well as foreclosure databases. Compare prices and features, and if need be, hire an inspector who can check if the house that you're interested in is in good condition.
3Start Your Search
Once you have checked your finances and verified that you are in the position to purchase a home, the next step is to begin house hunting. You likely have an idea about where you want to move to, or perhaps you haven't decided yet. In case you already have a firm idea about where you want to live; next, you'll know where you have to go.
When evaluating locations, drive to the properties that seem interesting to you. By doing so, you'll get an idea about how long the driving time is from a certain house to work or school. Surveying around the area will give you a glimpse of the local facilities nearby, like malls, schools, and other public infrastructure. This will also give you a chance to check out the neighborhood and assess if it fits your lifestyle and if it's safe and quiet.
4Make Preparations Ahead
Before you find yourself up to your elbows in paperwork because you just bought a house, you should do some necessary research first. For instance, be aware of the local tax obligations. Verify if you need a special type of insurance for your new home.
In case you do not have a pre-approved mortgage yet, begin processing this as soon as possible. You must also meticulously study other details. First, look at several properties for sale and take notes, pictures, and other facts so that you can make comparisons later. Remove from your list all the homes that do not meet your criteria; as for those that you like, re-evaluate them and prepare some questions about the properties so that you can ask the owners the next time you visit these houses.
5Understand That The Process Is The Same
The house hunting process is essentially the same for everyone. But you can expedite things by doing some research beforehand, by being informed, by checking your finances ahead of time, and by determining a location first. The entire process is the same, whether it's your first or third time to purchase a home. But with experience, the process gets easier and more efficient as you move to your next home or upgrade to a new house or a new area.
6Be Aware Of House Hunting Resources
House hunting is challenging, but there are a number of useful resources that will benefit you. One major resource that you should seriously consider using is the real estate agent. According to the NAR or National Association of Realtors, agents help about 50% of people in finding their new homes.
Moreover, a number of buyers also come across a property that interests them online, and then they get help from a real estate agent when closing the deal. Aside from agents, the next most common way to learn about a house sale is through the "For Sale" yard signs that owners or sellers put up. You can also get helpful information via newspapers, friends, family, neighbors, as well as builders.
7Look For Specific Details
If you want to know more about community resources, you can get in touch with the local chamber of commerce or an established real estate agent. Through them, you can avail of maps, welcome kits, and other promotional literature. With the help of a real estate agent, you'll also discover other homes for sale which are within your budget and which meet the criteria you've set. The MLS or Multiple Listing Service databases, which agents often use, and the sellers' receipts also include details about taxes.
Jackie Wing is an Alaska native, who enjoys snowboarding more than is probably socially acceptable. She lives in Anchorage with her two dogs Reese and Peanut, or as she likes to call them "Thing 1" and "Thing 2."