House-hunting for the first time is as exciting as it is nerve-racking. Keep reading for some top tips to help you with your upcoming househunting adventure.
Know what you want
It may seem like an obvious statement to make, but it is essential to have a very clear picture in mind of what you want from your new home before you start searching through real estate listings, such as the ones available on Realtor. Without a clear focus for your search, it’s easy to become inundated by the sheer amount of options to consider and other people’s opinions.
Make a list in order of what are the highest priorities and house attributes for you, whether that is location, the size of your property, neighborhoods, style, or distance from amenities, for example. Of course, extra features and interior finishes can be changed, so they are usually less important than location and square footage and less of a concern in the early stages of a search.
Having a firm idea of your non-negotiable must-haves for your new home will help you quickly filter out unsuitable homes, which will save you valuable time.
Know what you can afford
A common rookie mistake is to start looking at homes based on a vague idea of what you think you can afford. There is nothing worse than falling in love with your dream home just to discover you can’t afford even to put in an offer.
This is why, once you have a clear vision of what you are looking for, you need to find out how much you can realistically spend in turning this dream home into a reality. Househunting is easier when you know your affordability and this can be determined by consulting with a comparison service to take stock of your financial situation. Luckily, getting pre-approval for a mortgage these days is made easy with an online mortgage broker like Trussle, who can deal with your application for a home loan within as little as five days. The advantage to using services such as Trussle is that mortgage advisers will give you an accurate figure of what you can afford, as well as the best interest rates available on the market. In addition, having your pre-approval to hand when meeting with real estate agents and sellers will make you a much more appealing buyer and potentially give you the edge over someone else.
Know how to view properties
This is the most exciting step, but be careful this is also the step that can cause first-time buyers to slip up. First of all, don’t view properties that you have doubts about on paper or that don’t fit your criteria. Your time is valuable, so don’t waste it trying to make something work when it’s simply not right for your needs or financially viable. Prepare in advance a list of essential questions you would like to ask about the house, perhaps taking inspiration from Process, and write down the answer on your phone or a piece of paper to review later, as any life-changing decision should be discussed thoroughly before settling on a verdict.
You will most likely be looking at numerous homes, and it can get a little confusing when there are so many prospects to juggle. This is why you should make sure the answers to your questions, from estate agents and professionals, are comprehensive and can be backed up. Also, pay close attention to heating systems, any apparent structural defects, signs of mold, and other potentially costly and long-term problems. It’s so vital to take a look with a critical eye and check everything before signing a deal. This is why having a checklist is a great idea, as you can systematically evaluate whether a property ticks your boxes. If you like a property, don’t just view it once, but come back at different times of day to get a comprehensive picture of the house and the neighborhood, as well.
The process can often be lengthy and complicated, but with a clear focus and systematic approach, it’s definitely possible to find your dream home.