If you plan to buy a home soon, you will need to know “where you are going”. For a most enjoyable home-buying experience, first build a road map to your new home, a list of priorities that will lead you to your objective – a new home!
The first priority is time frame. Write down the date by which you would like to move in to your new home.
Keep in mind that it may take 30-90 days (or more) to locate the right home, secure financing, and complete the home-buying process.
The next priority is to develop a detailed description of the home you hope to find. The following page contains a Home Search Criteria form to help you distinguish between “Need-to-Have” features and “Nice-to-have” features. Be Specific and number your preferences in order of greatest importance to you.
This form, along with the information you share during our initial consultation, will enable me to narrow the home search. I will take this information and enter your requirements into the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and Listing Information Network (LINK). I will use my personal market knowledge to come up with a list of those homes that best meet your needs and wants.
- During the home search, I will…
- Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each home in relation to your specific needs.
- Keep you informed on a regular basis.
- Check the MLS and other relevant databases and with other brokers regularly for new listings.
- Prepare a list of all homes that best meet your needs and wants.
- Keep you up to date on changing financial conditions that may affect the housing market.
- Discuss market trends and values relative to properties that may be of interest to you.
Drive by. First impressions shouldn’t be underestimated. Even before the viewing, you should go and see the property from the outside. Often this is enough to know a property is not for you. You can get a good feel for the neighborhood by driving around nearby streets too. It’s worth doing this both during the day and at night to assess things like traffic noise.
Be prepared. Make a list of all the things that are important to you and any questions you want to ask before the house viewing. Once you’re in the house it’s easy for things to slip your mind.
Take a friend. It’s always great to have someone to bounce ideas off and ask for a second opinion.
Think about space. You can take this a step further by taking a tape measure with you to check if your furniture would fit comfortably in each room.
Check the property. Are there any signs of damp like peeling paint or tide marks on the walls? Are there any loose tiles on the roof? Keep an eye out for peeling paint, stains on the ceiling and steamed up windows.
Be thorough. Remember, this is one of the biggest purchases in your life. The last thing you want is to have to rush around the property because you have another viewing booked 10 minutes later, or because the estate agent is rushing to another appointment.
Check the bills. Ask to see utility bills so you know what to expect.
What’s included? Ask what fixtures and fittings the owners will be leaving. Carpets? Oven? Curtain poles?