Once you have gotten all those important first few steps out of the way such as obtaining your financing and choosing an agent, you can get to the fun: looking at homes! But before you get started, I suggest writing two lists: your needs in a home and your wants in a home. Sit down with whomever will be purchasing this home with you or a trusted person and figure out what your absolute needs are and what things would be wonderful to have, but could be negotiable. Remember to look at this through realistic eyes for your market.
Once you discuss your needs and wants in a home, your agent may send you some homes to look at or may just want to pick some homes for you to see.Trust your agent!He or she probably has access to more information than you do about the home that can help decide whether or not it would be a good match for you. Also remember, this is our job! Part of what we do everyday is to listen intently and read between the lines of what will or will not work for our clients to match them with a home that works for them. Who knew a real estate agent is also a matchmaker!
Picturing yourself living in a home can be difficult with other’s personal belongings still in the home. Challenge your self to look through the furniture, décor, and pictures hanging on the wall and look at the home itself. The size, layout, location, neighborhood, and yard are things that are relatively permanent in a home.Even paint colors, flooring, cabinetry, and fixtures can be changed to suit your taste!
When you are touring homes, take notes about what you do and do not like about the home. Does it meet all the areas on your need list? Does it meet some or most of the areas on your want list? If it does not, are they things you can compromise on? Also, be sure to note any helpful facts about the neighborhood, location, any incentives or personal items included in the sale, and the condition of the home and surrounding homes.Keep all theses notes in a folder or in some central location so that you can refer to them later.
When I am working with a first time homebuyer, I like to take two or three trips out to look at up to 10 homes initially. Touring too many homes can just lead to confusion and frustration when trying to narrow them down. After the initial home tours, I like to have my clients choose their top 3 homes that they would like to see again. From there, we tour those homes once more, taking any other family or friends who have a say in the home buying process, and taking a closer look at any items of concern or question that have popped up since originally looking at the homes.It is now up to the client to choose which home is right for him or her.