Tips For Buyers

Buying a new home can be a challenge.

Buying a home ranks second only to selling a home when it comes to challenges and anxiety.  Anyone who has done it knows how difficult it is to decide on the right house, at the right price in the right place.

Running around looking at homes without a plan is like shooting an arrow up in the air and hoping it hits the bullseye.

You probably know what you're looking for, so make a list.  Write down the things you want in your new home and use the information to weed out homes that don't work and focus on those that will.

A good real estate agent won't waste your time running you around to a bunch of homes on the chance you'll see one you like.  They'll take the time to put together of list of your "wants" and use that list to search for homes that fit your needs.  There are a few things that if you can nail them down ahead of time, will help ensure you find the home you're looking for.  Don't waste your time looking at homes that don't satisfy your basic requirements.  

Let's look at three of those important issues.

1. Price:  As in selling a home, price is usually the most important factor in determining what home you will buy.  Although everyone is a little flexible, you must have a price range in mind that represents what you truly want to spend.  That price range is usually determined by how much you want to spend each month and that translates into your mortgage.  Getting pre-approved for financing is absolutely the first thing you must do before you start your home search.  

2. Location:  Where the home is located is obviously another important factor about your new home.  Don't spend your time looking at homes in places you wouldn't live.  Although that sounds obvious, it's easy to get sidetracked during your home search.  So unless location is not that important to you, nail it down the best you can beforehand.

3. Features:  Deciding ahead of time what features you want in your new home will prevent wasting time just "looking around."  Bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas are the basics.  But if you must have an office or must have a three car garage, or must have a single story home, make these known to your Realtor.  Here are a few things that you might want to put on your checklist.

Number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

Open kitchen arrangement


Three car garage

Single story or two story

Flat driveway

Large/private back yard


Close to freeway

Back yard that faces the sunrise or sunset

Near shopping area 

Make a Moving Checklist

You’ve found a new home, now it’s time to move in and make it a Dream Home. Make the process as stress-free and organized as possible by starting early and keeping close tabs on the details. A simple search online for “moving checklist” will arm you with all the information you’ll need, and even advice on how to pack efficiently.

It’s Ok to Dream

When you are out there trying to find a house that is perfect for you and your family, it’s a good idea to prepare a list of all your needs, wants, and don’t-wants. Yes, an open mind is helpful when shopping for a house, but you don’t need to compromise on the things you truly care about. Prioritize your top 5 “must-have” qualities in a home, your top 5 “like to have” qualities, and you top 5 “we absolutely don’t want” qualities, and take the list with you when you go house shopping. You will be able to quickly eliminate homes that don’t fit your needs and wants, and also be able to spot the homes that deserve some greater attention.

Finances, Finances, Finances

When you are buying a home, you may be thinking “location, location, location” or “granite countertops", but before you can start having fun shopping around, you have to do a little work to get yourself ready financially. Begin your home-buying process by cleaning up your credit report and credit score and you will be able to start off on a solid financial foundation.

Picture Yourself

Before you buy a home, you may do a lot of daydreaming about what life there will be like, relaxing by the pool or enjoying s’mores made in the wood-burning fireplace. But to know what it will really be like, you’ll have to picture yourself doing the everyday things. How is the commuting experience? What sounds will you be falling asleep to at night? Can you picture yourself hosting Thanksgiving dinner in that size dining room? These are questions you’ll want to answer before you move in.

Eight Steps to Getting Your Finances in Order

Budget Basics Work Sheet

Eight Ways to Improve Your Credit

Five Factors that Decide Your Credit Score

Your Property Wish List

Tips for Finding the Perfect Neighborhood

Tips on Buying in a Tight Market

The Pros and Cons of Condos

Five Reasons You Need a Real Estate Agent

Ten Steps to Prepare for Home Ownership

How Big A Mortgage Can I Afford?

Seven Reasons to Own Your Own Home

Five Common First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes

Ten Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Ten Things to Take the Trauma Out of Home Buying

» More buyer articles

Buyers, Inquire Here

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