Real Estate Tips

House Hunting Tips

Get ready, get set, GO – begin your home search! Wait - Stop! Are you sure you know where to begin, or what type of home you need, or where you want to live? Before rushing in and buying the first home you see, you need to do some homework. Thoughtful preparation in the beginning of your home search will help you find the home of your dreams that also fits your family's unique needs. The key is to stay organized and focused on the ultimate goal of finding your ideal home.

Here are a few simple tips to help you pick the perfect place


  • Make a checklist. Before walking into a single home, determine what your family truly needs in a new home. Prioritize your list and decide what features are a must have and what amenities can be sacrificed. Thinking about the positives and negatives of your current home is a great way to start your list.

  • Obtain a mortgage pre-approval. A pre-approval will give you a sense of what you can afford to spend on your new home. You will also have a realistic idea of the price range of homes you should be visiting and eventually purchasing. Plus, having a pre-approval will demonstrate that you are a serious buyer to sellers.

  • Location, location, location. Location is crucial when searching for your home. Only you can decide which location is best for you. A few considerations include: How far do you want to commute to your job? Are the community schools highly rated? Do you require nearby neighborhood services such as public transportation, shopping and senior resources? You should also think about the location's impact on the resale value of the property if you are anticipating selling in the next few years.

  • Get on the Web. One of the best ways to start your home search is on the Internet. On Web sites such as you can search for properties, determine mortgage payments, research communities and so much more from the comfort of your own home.

  • Seek professional help. Realtors are experts in the real estate industry and can help you with everything from gathering community information to taking a home tour to finding moving services. There is no one better who can help you find the home of your dreams. Plus, Realtors can greatly reduce the amount of pressure you feel during this stressful time.

  • Take notes. While touring homes, write down a few notes about things you particularly like in the home and others that you may not. This way, when you evaluate the homes you have visited, you will have the pros and cons of each.

  • Bring along a camera. We all know “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Snapping some photos of the houses you see while on a home tour will give you a visual to jog your memory at the end of the day. Just remember to jot down which photos go with which notes.

  • Have a friend tag along. Having another pair of eyes while visiting potential homes can help you notice the strengths and weaknesses of a property, and if nothing else, can deter you from making hasty decisions.

  • Take a time out. Reserve some time for yourself and your family as you go through the buying process. Planning activities that will take your mind away from the stress will help both you and your family manage the transition.