Searching for a perfect house needs a great deal of patience. There may be many or a few houses in your required area. Going to each house and checking them will need a lot of time and effort. Preparing your requirements before visiting the houses will help a lot to make proper decision.
- Set your priorities: Before you are going to start searching for the homes, sit down with all members of the household and write out everything you want in a home by taking inputs from each one. Choose a top-list such as top five or top three must haves in the home. Keeping this list close to you will help not to deviate from your must haves in the new home.
- Location counts: There is an old real estate joke about it as “location, location, location,” but it still repeating. How far are you really willing to travel back and forth to your place of employment? How good the local seniors services, public transportation, shopping centers, schools and other public amenities? Is it too near to the commercial areas? etc. If any of these make you vacate the house and try for new one means you made a bad choice. This is because location is crucial.
- Make a comparison chart: Keep a list of features each house has very difficult when the number of houses you are visiting is increasing. Prepare a check list or a comparison chart for each house. Once you visited the house, fill it and write the notes that you observed and interested during the tour. In the notes beyond the basics like baths and beds, write the cost per square foot, storage space, natural light in each room, the condition of the exterior and the roof, and landscaping. Make a chart with this information. The chart can help you make a good decision.
- Get approved for mortgage: Your top dollar house price is a function of your creditworthiness, household income, interest rates, the type of loan your selected and the cash ready with you for the closing costs and down payment, among other factors. Ask a mortgage broker or a lender to give you a letter stating that the qualified amount to borrow and a full assessment rather than you are guessing or estimating how much the can afford to spend. The actual amount you need might be much less or much more than you think.
- Prepare to make an offer: Searching for a home to buy can also be frustrating, especially if you know in your heart as you are not really financially or emotionally ready to buy. Do not put yourself through the exercise, if you are not ready. Go through the blank purchase contract ahead of time, if you are ready. So you will know when you make an offer what decisions you will face.
While you are visiting a house, check out the light at different times if possible, check the neighbors, surroundings, and noises, if any or probable. Take the interior and other photos to evaluate and useful even to cross check before you are signing on contract.