In the passed few months we have seen flocks of first time home buyers looking for their first home, and this can be a very exciting process but for some it proves to be stressful, and more daunting than they thought it would be. With so many houses to choose from sometimes you may have a harder time finding a home than one may think. I have met with buyers who tell me that they have looked at over 100 homes, and still have not found "the one"! Now the process of finding your perfect home is not as easy as TLC makes it seem, I have never seen someone look at only 3 homes, and immediately pick one of those three as their choice! That being said there is a happy medium that should make your home buying process as enjoyable and stress free as possible, so here are just a few tips!
1. Buyers Broker
Now I have spoken many times about why you should hire yourself a Buyers Broker, for the legal reasons but that is not the only reason.
You of course want someone to guide you as far as a potential homes price, but more you need someone on your side to do the legwork of finding that perfect home for you. The Realtor is your first phase of filtering homes that are not going to meet your needs & wants! Your Realtor will not waste your time by taking you to homes that are not going to work for you!
Your Realtor will also to be able to tell you if finding you that perfect home is possible, and make sure that your expectations are realistic. We will look to find you a deal but we are not magicians we can not get you your dream house for free! We are also not mind readers, if you hate ranches and you don't tell us we will continue showing you ranches until you speak up!
2. Get Your Price Right
I can not stress this enough, no matter where you are in the process of home buying go and get yourself a pre-approval!
Why? Because unless you hit lotto the price range where you are pre-approved is not going to significantly change ! There is nothing worse meeting with a buyer without one, who discovers after they have fallen in love with a home that they can't afford the home because of an issue of price and/or taxes. On the other hand, I've also had buyers pleasantly surprised that they could afford more than they thought they could.
The price range of the homes you are viewing is important, you don't want to look at something very high over your budget because than the homes in your budget will never measure up!
3. Your Wants VS Your Needs
Even in a buyers market with tons of homes on the market, you may not be able to get that "perfect home" with everything you want in it.
I understand that you may want that Jacuzzi Tub, In-ground Pool, or Chef's Kitchen BUT that does not mean your perfect home will have all of those things.
What you need?
How many bedrooms, baths, garage, storage ? These are the things that you can not live without!
Think towards the future when you are deciding on this if you don't have any kids but plan on living in this house for quite a few years you want to make sure that you will have room to grow in this new home.
What would you like to have?
The home you end up buying may not have everything that was on your list, but it should have some! This is where you want to be realistic, but if you always wanted a fireplace in your first home this is the list you should be putting it on.
Decide the things that you do NOT want!
I do not mean things like you don't want a pink bathroom that is something you can change! The "Don't Want List" should be things about a home that would be things you could never change about the house. This should be a very very short list, since most things in a home can be changed.
4. Get Organized
The evenings of many buyers are filled with searching MLS for new homes to the market, and than the weekend is usually spent attending every open house possible. You need to be sure that you have some way to be able to track and organize all these homes that you are searching thru!
Speak to your Realtor, and be sure to ask them for a Listingbook Account!
It is a completely interactive website that will show you new listings via your morning email. It will allow you to also block homes that you no longer want to see, or track homes that you want to keep an eye on for price changes. You can leave notes for your Realtor for times that you may not be able to reach them on the phone, and they can respond to you on the website as well.
It gives you an area to put in your specifics that I mentioned earlier - "Must Have", "Like To Have", and "Don't Want". You will than be able to see "perfect matches" and "close matches". The best part is this information is never lost, and you will not have to start a new search everyday looking thru homes that you have already seen trying to find the 1 new one that come on the market.
5. When You Find "The One" - GRAB IT!
I can't not stress this enough if you find the perfect home, you will know it!
Don't drive yourself crazy wondering if another house is going to come on the market that "might" be better, because you "might" not find another perfect house!
I hope these tips will help ease some of the stress for the home buyers that are planning on beginning their search for the "perfect home"!
My goal for all my buyers is to turn their dreams, into an address!