You may think that shopping for homes starts with jumping in the car and driving all over town. And it’s true that hopping in the car to go look is probably the most exciting part of the home-buying process. However, driving around is fun for only so long-if weeks go by without finding what you’re looking for, the fun can fade pretty fast. That’s why we say that looking for your home begins with carefully assessing your values, wants, and needs, both for the short and long terms.
Questions to ask yourself
- What do I want my home to be close to?
- How much space do I need and why?
- Which is more critical: location or size?
- Would I be interested in a fixer-upper?
- How important is home value appreciation?
- Is neighborhood stability and priority?
- Would I be interested in a condo?
- Would I be interested in new home construction?
- What features and amenities do I want? Which do I really need?
Creating Your Home Wish List
- Age: Do you prefer historic properties, or newer ones?
- Style: Do you have a special preference for ranches, bungalows, or another style of construction?
- Bedrooms: How many?
- Bathrooms: How many? Are they updated?
- Living and Dining Areas: A traditional, formal layout, or a more open, contemporary plan?
- Stories: How many?
- Square feet: How much space?
- Ceilings: How high?
- Kitchen: How big? Recently updated? Open to other living areas?
- Storage: Big closets, a shed, an extra-large garage?
- Parking: A garage or carport? Room for how many cars?
- Extras: Attic or basement?
- Play/exercise room
- Security system
- Sprinkler system
- In-law suite
- Hot tub
- Wooded lot
- Patio, deck, or porch
- Laundry room
If you are like most buyers you’ll be searching online and visiting open houses whenever you can! Did you know that you can can search for properties on this site? www.TamiPriceProperties.com is tied directly to the MLS! The MLS is the database of all the properties for sale that REALTORS® and Brokers, like us, use. It is the most accurate database of real estate information available. We can access what a specific property has been through since 1997! www.Realtor.com is another good one. However, Trulia and Zillow can be unreliable at times. We can talk about this a little later.
Automated MLS Search
Once we have discussed your budget, what your dream home looks like and where it is; we’ll start the actual search. You’ll be set up on automated MLS search based on the parameters you’ve determined and you’ll know, in real-time, what is available, what is new to the market, what has received a contract, and what has a new price.
Once you have determined which home meet your requirements, we’ll start physically looking at the properties.
Pre-Approval Letter in Hand
Before we begin physically viewing homes, you will have already contacted a Mortgage Broker and received your pre-approval letter. This allows us to narrow down your search to include only those homes that are within your price range. It makes no sense to look at homes out of your price range and miss something that is. With letter in hand, we are ready to begin the search for your new digs!
While we are physically viewing selected homes, we’ll be guiding you through pluses and minuses of areas and communities. As we walk through the specific homes, we’ll be outlining pluses and minuses of each property, as well. We have a very objective view of real estate. We want to make sure you buy a home you can sell easily if and when the time comes. In order to do that, we’ll make sure you know the risks of buying a house with elements that make it more difficult to sell, and educating you on what is important to most buyers in the market place.
Re-Analyzing Your Wants and Needs
If you have not located your ideal home after our first day of looking at homes, you will gain a greater insight on what you want and need in your new home, and so will we. This allows us to narrow our search and become more focused on your priorities. New Properties on the Market In addition to checking the MLS database at least once a day, we input your information into the MLS, which notifies me via email when new properties are added that meet your criteria. As new properties come available we will tour them with you.
As we search, we’ll ask you to keep a running list of your top 3 favorites and we’ll ask you to forget all about the rest of them. This helps your brain stay focused as you will be absorbing a wealth of information.
You Have Found Your Future Home, What Next?
It’s time to head back to the office, review market data and construct your offer!