If you’re in the market for a new home, chances are you’ll need a good starting place and some helpful house hunting tips to go along. Of course, buying a home is far from a proven formula as everyone has different opinions about not only how to buy a house, but what the perfect house looks like to them. For that very reason, we’ve put together some universal house hunting tips any buyer can use when looking for a new home.
Be Priority Focused
Before you get too far and the emotions of a house tour begin, set your priorities and stay focused on them. Much like goal setting, writing down the priorities you have for your new home will help make them more real, tangible, and you’ll have something you can reference. This should be something you have with you at all times during your home tours and written on the first page of your house hunters notebook.
Make a Casual Pass Through The House
If you’re looking at a prospective home for the first time, made a casual pass through the house before you take any details into consideration. It’s easy for emotions to run high in those first moments, so a quick breeze through the house before you begin seriously looking is good for the buying genes. Take your time as you look through the house the second time and pick out the things you like as well as the downfalls and document them accordingly. These notes will help you down the road!
Look Up, Down, and All Around
It’s easy for your gaze to fall at eye level and never drift upward nor downward where problems may lie just beyond your normal field of vision. Take a long, hard look at ceilings, floors, and crevasses for imperfections that may reveal greater problems with foundational work, framing, or how a home has settled over the years. For old homes expect to see some signs of a settled pier or shifted beam, but newer homes should exhibit fewer of these quirks.
Poke Your Head in the Attic or Basement
Depending on where the guts of the home’s mechanical components (HVAC, electrical, boilers, etc.) are a quick peek in the attic or basement may reveal a lot about how the home was constructed. Poor mechanical installations or poorly maintained machinery may end up costing you thousands of dollars a few months or years into home ownership. If you see problems, inform your realtor immediately to start a resolution.
Take Photos, Videos, and Lots of Notes
You’ll likely be touring lots of houses, so it’s important to have plenty of references to look back to. Especially when you’re only spending 30 minutes or an hour at the most looking at a home. Ask your realtor if you can take some videos or pictures to help refresh your memory when it’s time to compare and contrast different houses. Also, don’t be scared to carry around a house hunting notebook full of your personal notations for each home.
Get “Buy” Ready
Whether you’re seriously in the market or just entertaining the idea of getting a home, getting your priorities in order with your finances, documents, and everything else that goes with home buying is paramount. This includes your title company. Aside from your mortgage the right title company will be the most important thing you encounter, so contact your local Equity Title.
Equity Title’s professionals can give you an insider’s edge on the title and closing process and help get you moving towards your home purchase.