5 Tips for Starting Your Home Search

5 Tips for Starting Your Home Search | MyKCM

In today’s market, low inventory dominates the conversation in many areas of the country. It can often be frustrating to be a first-time homebuyer if you aren’t prepared. Here are five tips from realtor.com’s article“How to Find Your Dream Home—Without Losing Your Mind.”

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before You Start Your Search

One way to show you’re serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage. Even if you’re in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach. This will help you avoid the disappointment of falling in love with a home well outside your price range.

2. Know the Difference Between Your ‘Must-Haves’ and ‘Would-Like-To-Haves’

Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Before you start your search, list all the features of a home you would like. Qualify them as ‘must-haves’‘should-haves’, or ‘absolute-wish list’ items. This will help you stay focused on what’s most important.

3. Research and Choose a Neighborhood Where You Want to Live

Every neighborhood has unique charm. Before you commit to a home based solely on the house itself, take a test-drive of the area. Make sure it meets your needs for “amenities, commute, school district, etc. and then spend a weekend exploring before you commit.”

4. Pick a House Style You Love and Stick to It

Evaluate your family’s needs and settle on a style of home that will best serve those needs. Just because you’ve narrowed your search to a zip code doesn’t mean you need to tour every listing in that vicinity. An example from the article says, “if you have several younger kids and don’t want your bedroom on a different level, steer clear of Cape Cod–style homes, which typically feature two or more bedrooms on the upper level and the master on the main.”

5. Document Your Home Visits

Once you start touring homes, the features of each individual home will start to blur together. The article suggests keeping your camera handy and making notes on the listing sheet to document what you love and don’t love about each property you visit.

Bottom Line

In a high-paced, competitive environment, any advantage you can give yourself will help you on your path to buying your dream home.

Are you thinking about buying a home? Download my free Buyers Guide, “Things to consider when buying a home”. And start you home search at mynexthome.com.


Ann Arbor House Hunting Tips to Minimize Stress

In today’s competitive Ann Arbor real estate market, home buyers should know how to prepare for the house hunting process.  A well-informed buyer will have a pre-approval letter from a lender, a fixed budget, a plan of action, and a time frame for buying a home.  Here are five other tips to help minimize stress during your house hunting adventure:

1| Be on the same page; About everythingbuyertips

Whether you’re buying a house as newlyweds or as a family, be sure that you’re all on the same page about what you NEED and WANT in a home. It’s easy to say that you’ll know what you want when you see it, but this is terrible idea when it comes to buying property.

Before you ever look at a home, sit down with all family members and a piece of paper. Make two columns on the paper, one with your wants and one with your needs.  Make sure everyone participates, so that each person feels that they have a say in what the new home will have.   The list will be long on wants, but the needs will be more important. Don’t just focus on number of rooms and a remodeled kitchen.  Are schools important, what about shopping and entertainment? Thank about what you do every day, and what your hobbies and past time entails.

Revise and refine your list until you feel sure that all of your needs are covered. The needs will be primary considerations when looking at homes and your wants will be secondary. This list will help take much of the emotion and disappointment out of your home search.

2| Start your search online 

You can save yourself a lot of time and legwork when you start looking for your dream home online. In no way does this compare to looking at the actual homes in real life, but at least you can instantly narrow down your search to those that are within your price range. According to the National Association of REALTORS 2016 Profile of Buyers and Sellers, nearly a half of all home buyers bought a home that they first saw online. Looking at homes online can also be a way of minimizing arguments during the actual viewing!

3| Encourage healthy conversations

Of course, no matter how much you try to come up with criteria for the house you want, you’re still likely to come across some features that you could never have predicted prior to the viewing. The key is to be prepared to make unexpected decisions by knowing how to lead productive conversations.

For example, instead of flat out dismissing your spouse’s interest in a bigger-than-expected garage, find out if you can make this space work for you as well. If you like the color of the walls and the kids don’t, present a scenario in which you repaint their rooms in the color of their choosing. Be open to suggestions and make every discussion a productive one. Think in terms of possibilities instead of limitations–but be sure to think within your budget.

4| Let your agent do the talking on your behalf

You were wise enough to hire a professional to help you navigate the home buying process. The only thing you need to do now is to trust him/her to represent you.   Real estate agents are trained communicators, and they’ll know how to voice out your concerns without offending the seller or putting your offer in jeopardy.

Buyers are encouraged to consult with their agents regarding technical matters of the sale, and it is the job of the agent to help buyers come up with a solid plan that would lead to a successful closing. Keep in mind, though, that you must always be in control of your own purchase. Don’t let your agent lead the way entirely. Your agent’s job is to guide you and present you with options, and not to take over the home buying process. Do your own research, know what you want, and talk to your agent when you’ve set clear priorities. This way, you won’t end up with a house that your agent decided on for you (refer back to #1).

5| Practice acceptance

Be at peace with the possibility of you not getting the first home you fall in love with. When you find yourself caught in a bidding war for a house, learn to let go when you know that there’s no way you could win without breaking the bank. In such cases, it’s better to accept defeat and move on.  Remember, there is no perfect home, but there is a home that fits your perfect lifestyle!

For more house hunting tips, watch this Lifestyle Checklist video from Consumer Report.

Source: NextHome Victors