Finding the perfect house can be tough. What starts as an exciting endeavor quickly turns into a stressful process. See a listing, tour the property and have your hopes dashed as the property doesn’t live up to expectations.
While buying a house is a major life milestone and huge investment, it’s important to make sure you strike a balance. If you’ve been looking for a while and still can’t find a place worth placing an offer on, you may want to reconsider how you’ve been approaching the home buying process.
Follow these five house hunting tips to make your dream home a reality.
Understand Wants Versus Needs
If you’re buying a house, it’s understandable that you want absolutely everything to be perfect. However, unless you want to build from the ground up, finding a house that fulfills your every wish is unlikely. That’s not to say you should settle for a lackluster home. Rather, consider your approach and make sure you aren’t passing up on great properties simply because they’re missing something small you could add yourself.
Make a list of just five new house must-haves and then a separate list of would-loves. Keep your non-negotiables at the forefront of your mind when touring a house. Don’t let smaller wants keep you from landing a great deal.
Imagine Yourself in the Space
You should always do an in-person walk through before buying a house, but you have to do more than just walk through. As you look at a potential home, imagine you and your family living there. Can you picture yourself whipping up breakfast in the kitchen on a lazy Sunday morning? Do you easily envision the kids laughing and playing in the backyard? Pay attention to the energy and vibe you get from the house, and trust your gut.
Take Your Time
You don’t want to make a rash decision, but you shouldn’t immediately put in an offer unless you’re 100-percent certain this is the house for you. Ask your realtor how many offers are on the property, and get their advice on when you should make a final decision. However, if you have doubts, don’t feel pressured to put an offer in
Take a few days to think things over. You shouldn’t wait any longer than a week to place an offer on a house you like if you’re serious about the property. The worst thing would be finding your dream home and losing it because you waited too long to act.
Hire an Inspector
Have a potential home checked out by a third-party home inspector to make sure you’re getting exactly what’s advertised. If the inspector finds any flaws, you don’t have to walk away immediately. Instead, you could use the findings to your advantage and possibly get a lower price.
Be Open to Improvements
Sometimes, a fixer-upper house isn’t as bad as it seems. You can save thousands of dollars and truly customize a home if you’re willing to invest in one that needs a little TLC. Keep your options open and be willing to compromise. You can still have standards, but don’t pigeonhole yourself and wind up missing out on a wonderful opportunity.
When you buy a house with potential, you get the chance to raise its value tenfold with your renovations and upgrades. Consider the bargain you get from the initial sale as well as the long-term value you’ll receive with your remodels.
Finding your dream home isn’t always easy—but it is worth it. With some patience, effort, and time, sifting through all those homes for sale will ultimately get you to your goal of home ownership.