This blog post concludes a three-part series designed to answer common questions and concerns from first-time home buyers.
First Time Home Buyer Series
Part Three: Shopping for a Home
You’re pre-approved for a loan. You’ve secured the aid of a real estate agent you trust. Now there is only one step left between you and your first home: finding the home!
While shopping for a home can be time-consuming and even occasionally tiring, it is also indisputably the most enjoyable part of the home buying process. There’s nothing quite like that anticipation you feel every time you are about to tour a home. After all, this could be “the one” – the house that will become your home!
What are some practical tips to ensure your home shopping experience will result in finding the home that’s right for you?
Start Your Search Online Everyone loves to shop online; home buyers are no exception and with good reason – the internet is a quick and easy resource for finding information about homes for sale. Test out a few different real estate search engines until you find a favorite. In addition to popular sites like Zillow or Trulia, be sure to check out local real estate agency websites. Many of them have real estate search engines that give you more localized and, oftentimes, more accurate and up-to-date information than national real estate websites will be able to provide.
Careful Not to Bite Off More Than You Can Chew Your real estate agent will be happy to show you any homes you are interested in, but as you gather information on homes you’d like to visit, a word of caution is in order: Resist the temptation to attempt to tour more homes than is reasonable. After touring several homes, you may find that shopping fatigue starts to set in and every home starts looking the same! If you have a long list of homes you are interested in, try to refine it down to 6 or 7 homes you want to see and then go from there.
Take Your Time While Touring This is the fun part, so don’t rush! While it’s true that most of us will be attracted first to what we see when we tour a home, make sure you look beyond aesthetics. Inquire about the “bones” of the home – what is the age and condition of the electrical system, plumbing, roof and insulation? Take time to get a feeling for the area a home is located in. Don’t be afraid to approach neighbors and ask about their experiences living in the neighborhood.
Don’t Trust Your Memory If you are planning on touring more than one home at a time, don’t trust your memory! Many home shoppers take notes or even pictures as a way of reminding them of various features of the homes they have visited. It is especially important to take note of any unresolved concerns you had while touring a home.
Keep Your Dreams in Check Everyone has a dream home. For most of us, though, our first home is not the home of our dreams. In fact, trying to find the perfect home can derail your home buying experience. There will be pros and cons with any home you live in. Figure out what features of a home and neighborhood are most important to you and then be willing to compromise on some of the less important aspects. Remember, it’s called your first home for a reason – it will likely not be your last!
With the right tools and the right attitude, searching for your first home can be a delightful experience. Happy home buying to you!
Photo credit: Alan Cleaver
__________________________________________________________________________________________________This concludes our First Time Home Buyers blog series. If you have a subject you would like to see us discuss on the blog, please tell us about it by leaving a comment or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.