6 Effective Tips for Starting Your Home Search

First Time Home Buyer Tips

6 Effective Tips for Starting Your Home Search

July 12, 2021

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A home search can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer. To make sure that you carry the excitement that comes with becoming a homeowner, you need to have an effective and efficient search strategy. 

In this post, we will share some effective tips to start your home search so that you can easily find your dream home: 

Effective Tips for A Successful Home Search

Set Realistic Financial Expectations Every person dreams of buying a house one day. However, several factors play a role in making that dream come true. Your financial health is the number one factor in this regard.

Before you start your home search, find out your financial health. This will include your monthly income, your expenses, and your ability to get a loan based on your income and credit score. 

If you have a good, stable source of income (be it from a job or a business that you run), then you must get in touch with a mortgage provider. They will help you figure out the loan amount that you can get and how much you can easily spend on your home. 

Knowing your financial health is the most important step, as you can set a realistic budget based on this, instead of just building dream castles. After all, once you have a budget in mind, planning your journey to find your dream home becomes a lot easier. 

If you need some financial tips as a first-time home buyer, then you need to definitely take a look at this post that we recently wrote.

Figure Out Your Must-Haves

We all have a list of amenities that we would like to have in our dream homes. However, not all of those things need to be a must-have. This is where knowing the difference between must-haves and would-like-to-haves comes into the picture. 

For instance, having a farmhouse sink in the kitchen can be considered as a would-like–to-have, compared to having a certain number of bedrooms, which is a must-have. 

Whether you like to fly solo in your search or choose a real estate agent, having this list could make it easier for you to filter out home options. You can simply say no to the homes that don’t fulfill your list of must-have features and move on to find the ones that have all the features you are looking for. 

Start Your Search Online 

The easiest and most convenient option is to get in touch with a real estate agent to find your dream home. But before you do that it is always a good idea to start your home search online. 

There are plenty of useful online resources available to aid in your home search. You can use these tools to:

  • Study various neighborhoods and their market trends 
  • Types of homes available in those neighborhoods 
  • Have a general sense of the size and type of homes that can fit your budget

The best thing about starting your search online is that by the time you go to a real estate agent you will have plenty of market knowledge that will be able to ask the right questions. 

Short-List A Few Neighborhoods

Based on your must-have list and the online search that you will conduct, create a list of neighborhoods that seem most attractive and fit your budget. 

Here are some important things to keep in mind when shortlisting neighborhoods:

  • Distance from your work
  • Distance from conveniences like market, shopping malls, and school (if you have kids)
  • The crime rate in the neighborhood

Every neighborhood will have its charm, so it is a good idea to test-drive the neighborhood that best fits your needs and shortlist according to your experience. 

Visit A Real Estate Agent 

Statistics from the National Association of Realtors show that 88% of buyers purchase their home through a real estate agent or broker.

With a clear picture of what you are looking for, what you are qualified for, and your neighborhood preference, you can visit a real estate agent. Put your requirements in front of them, and they will find the best house options for you. 

You might be tempted to fly solo in your home search, but real estate agents with their experience and excellent network can help you find the most suitable properties for you. This can be not only time-saving but also a lot more reliable way to find a good home. 

Plan And Document Your Home Visits 

Once you have reached a real estate agent with your home expectations, the process of endless home visits and open houses will start. Make sure to thoroughly plan these visits by already jotting down the questions that you would like to ask the seller and the specific areas that you would like to check in the home. 

Here’s a list of must-ask questions that we have created for you to ask the home seller that will help in your home buying decision. 

Document your experiences in every home visit, as it will help you compare various houses that you visited and remember how you felt while visiting them. 

Bottom Line 

Buying a home can become a hassle-free affair when you know where to start. The tips mentioned here are a great way to start your home search off strong. Follow these and it will eventually lead to finding your dream home. 

All the best.