First Time Home Buyer How To pick out that new home!
So you have done your homework. Your Pre-qualified for your new home you know the price range that you need to be in and you and your family have decided roughly what it is that you want in a home to buy. And I say roughly because you don’t always end up with what you think your going to end up with. Once you start walking through some houses your going to change your mind a little. Your going to find things you like and your going to see somethings that you thought you would have liked that you really don’t. And that’s okay! That is part of the process. Especially if you’re a first time home buyer.
You have picked your Realtor and are receiving properties from that Realtor on a regular basis. So what do you do with those. I’m going to suggest that you take a little time and do a few drive-bys and check out the neighborhoods (make sure your comfortable with them) and look for the schools, shopping etc what ever is important to you. As you do your drive-bys you are going to see some of them that you look around and say “No way am I living here” and that’s fine. That is how we start sorting them out.
I’m going to suggest that you don’t always sort them out by the pictures. Unfortunately in this industry pictures can sometimes be deceiving. Now if its horrible that’s fine but I would suggest starting first with the neighborhoods. Remember in Real Estate it’s all about Location, Location, Location! And unfortunately we all do sometimes see some fabulous houses in areas that a prudent wanting to be safe person would never be.
Once you have them sorted its time to start scheduling some time to go view them. This is when it starts to get fun. You want to block a few hours out at a time. I am going to suggest that you keep your numbers down to about 5 or 6 to view in a day. You get to many and they start to run together in your mind. And bring a notebook. Plan on taking some notes. A flashlight and a tape measure are also good tools to have with you.
Depending on your Realtor, the area and how far you are traveling you may ride with your Realtor or you may follow in your own vehicle. I see a lot of families with babies take their own vehicle so they can have all the babies stuff with them. it all depends on the situation and the logistics. Either way your off to start the home buying process.
I am going to suggest at this time also that if you have a baby sitter for the baby or the other kids to utilize that person at this time. It’s actually important that you are not distracted as you are walking through homes while you are preparing to make one of the biggest investments of your life.
There is a certain etiquette that you want to follow as you come to viewing homes. For one thing the home owners personal stuff is theirs. You never go through their home and open dresser drawers, medicine bottles or any other personal items. And you don’t let your kids do it either. They don’t get to play with the families kids toys either. Frankly sanitation wise that freaks me out.
A well prepped seller won’t have those things out anyway but you will find as you walk through homes not all sellers are well prepped. If they have booties out for shoe covers you wear them. Quite a few sellers don’t want extra tracks across their floors. Especially in an environment where you are probably coming in with wet feet. You always want to respect their personal property.
Another big one if they have pets Leave them Alone! I can’t tell you how many times I have to suggest to people to leave their animals alone. If the dog is in the kennel because the owner thinks it might bite Respect that! Nobody cares that you’re the next dog whisperer. If you’re looking at Rural property if you open a gate shut the gate. And once again leave their animals alone. You never know how they will react to strangers and frankly there is no reason to find out. Nothing is going to ruin your house hunting day more than getting a good dog bite or letting someones horse kick you.
Now what can you open. You can always open kitchen cupboards, closets, pantry’s, garage doors etc. Anything that is part of the home that will be staying. Just don’t go through the things in the closet. They will be leaving. Another thing that you shouldn’t do is don’t get hung up on any of the pictures the seller has hanging on the walls or sitting around. Once again a well prepped seller will have put those away but we do see them when we are out and about.
You can take measurements. if you like a home but know that you have a special couch that is x number of feet long. Of course you can measure to make sure it will fit. Anything else that is a specialty of your own personal life by all means make sure it will fit. That is what we are here for.
Another thing you want to pay attention to is what is included in the house. Most homes are required to leave the range, the oven hood, dishwasher, attached window treatments, light fixtures, Anything that is basically attached to the house.
Now on some listings they will have the excluded items list and you want to pay attention to that. It may include things like the refrigerator, washer and dryer, the storage shed out back. Sometimes its the beautiful antique chandelier that is hanging in the entry. It could be anything.
Now once again the well prepped seller would have made sure that the chandelier was already pulled down and what they were leaving was already up. They can’t take it and leave you a hole in the ceiling. But we all know not all sellers are well prepped. And sometimes they just don’t follow good advice because they just don’t want to. Grandmas chandelier just makes the entry way pop.
So what if your looking at this house and you love grandmas chandelier. Well you can ask for it. Make it part of the deal. Doesn’t mean your going to get it but you never know. Same thing for the refrigerator or the washer and dryer. Remember everything is negotiable. You may want to read How to make an offer so you can put some of the pieces together.
Once you have it narrowed down to just a couple of favorites its usually a good idea to go back through those favorites again prior to making the choice. Its time to really look at it and make sure that its really going to fit your family. Another check on the neighborhood, crime rate or whatever is important to you.
Make sure your eyes are wide open and you look at it for its faults also. This isn’t a nitpick it a piece party but this is the time to look at what is obvious of changes you would want to make or touches you want to add and make sure it looks feasible. This is also the time to note the condition of the home again. If it looks like the roof is about to blow off then you need to be aware that you may be buying a new roof in the next year. Does that fit your budget?
Your probably going to do a home inspection also so you will have an expert come in behind you and really look it over but you do want to be aware.
If it all checks out then the time has arrived to make that offer. You are well on your way of being a First Time Home Buyer!
I hope this helped give you an idea of how the selection process works for that great home that you want to buy. Questions and comments don’t be shy. I am here to help just contact me. Please feel free to use the free home search on the website and when you are ready to start your shopping process please consider hiring me to help you through the home buying process. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and have a Fabulous day!