Are you looking for that perfect home right now? House hunting can be an incredibly exciting (and sometimes frustrating) venture in a homeowner’s life. You get to see so many great homes in the area and envision how your life would look in a different home than you’re in now.
While house hunting can definitely be a load of fun (seriously, House Hunters is always full of great adventures!), it can definitely be troublesome, especially if you don’t take a few precautions first. That’s why we’ve compiled 10 of our trusty “dos and don’ts” when it comes to house hunting to help you along the way!
Check our list of dos and don’ts below when it comes to house hunting!
DO Research the Neighborhood – You’ll definitely want to research the house you’re interested in, but don’t forget about the neighborhood! After all, the #1 rule when it comes to real estate is “location, location, location.” Put your researching cap on and become a neighborhood detective. Will the neighborhood fit your lifestyle? Is the home located in a safe place? Figure out what you want and find the neighborhood that suits you best.
DO Look at Several Homes Before Settling – Buying the first home you encounter is not necessarily the best idea. If you purchase a home without comparing it to other listings in the area, there’s a good chance that you could overpay or miss out on your true dream home. Try to walk through at least 3 homes before you settle on one. Still in love with the first one you laid eyes on? Then make an offer!
DO Buy Based on Your Needs – Did you know that the average American lives in the same home for approximately 9 years? That’s why it’s essential that you address your long-term needs when you’re looking at homes, not solely your wants. A huge, gorgeous house with a stunning gourmet kitchen might seem ideal now, but will you enjoy it just as much in a few years? Make a list of your needs and stick to it in order to avoid buyer’s remorse. Keep in mind, too, that you can factor in a few wants into your list as well; after all, you will want to enjoy the home you live in!
DO Take a Lot of Notes and Photos – You might remember the insanely bright paint on the walls, but will you remember exactly where the washer and dryer hookups are or how wide the staircase is? Be sure to take a notepad and pen with you to jot down some notes. Ask your realtor if you’re able to take photos of the home as well. They will definitely help in the long run!
DO Opt for a Professional Inspection – Sellers won’t always disclose the entire truth to potential buyers or might be covering up issues until the closing date happens. In fact, many potential problems such as wiring trouble, plumbing issues, or an infestation might not be visible to the naked eye. A professional inspector will investigate the house thoroughly and let you know about any underlying problems that you might have missed. This will help save you time, money, and a load of heartache.
DO Wear Practical Shoes – Not all homeowners are privy on potential homebuyers wearing their shoes throughout their clean house, especially in times of inclement or wet weather. Be sure to wear practical shoes that are easy to take on and off and wear your best socks in case the homeowner asks you to remove your shoes.
DON’T Buy a House For Its Décor – You might traipse through a home that has stunning furnishings and fantastic color combinations at the showing, but you will need to remember that you will ultimately need to accommodate your own furnishings and lifestyle once the owner packs everything and leaves. Be sure to look past a home’s décor to determine if the space will accommodate your furnishings and style. Focus on the floor plan and the square footage to figure out if the home is right for you.
DON’T Buy the Most Expensive House on the Block – You might be tempted to purchase that huge expensive house, but keep in mind that you won’t get the same return on the investment; in fact, you might have trouble selling it later on. Before making a decision, be sure to research the neighborhood. Find out if the house is overbuilt for the area and if comparable homes are selling as well. This is great information to have, especially if you ever decide to sell!
DON’T Fall in Love With a House You Can’t Afford – If you know you can’t afford a certain home you’ve had your eye on, don’t look at it; it will only cause you more grief. Remember, you have to be able to pay your mortgage every month, and you won’t be able to fully enjoy your home if you’re barely able to make payments. There are other fantastic homes out there, so focus on a home that will make you happy AND that you can afford!
DON’T Get Desperate – If you’ve looked at several houses and are feeling really worn down, don’t let your frustrations develop into feelings of desperation. Remember, once you purchase your home, you will have to live with it, sometimes for several years. Make sure that you find a home that you really want to live in!
If you follow these tips, you will be able to avoid many of the common pitfalls in the house hunting world and find your dream home! If you’re in the hunt for the perfect home for you in the Metro East St. Louis region, be sure to call the experts – The Massey Team! You can reach us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or view our listings online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com.