Our Real Estate Blog
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Shopping for a new house can seem like an overwhelming experience because there are so many factors to consider.
The top priorities for the majority of house hunters include the quality of the school district, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the overall condition of the house. Price is also a major consideration, as is square footage, commuting distance, and the character of the neighborhood.
In many cases, house hunters have specific requirements in mind, ranging from privacy to the layout of the rooms.
Although your search will be much more efficient if you know exactly what you want, the process of looking at houses will help you clarify your preferences, needs, and design ideas for your next home. Touring houses online and browsing home decorating websites can give you a lot of useful ideas, but nothing compares to actually visiting houses and taking a close look at everything the property has to offer.
Working with an experienced real estate agent is often the best way to find a home that checks off most of your priority items and meets your expectations. Searching the real estate market on your own is like going on a self-guided tour of a large historical site or tourist attraction. Without expert guidance, you could easily overlook some of the best aspects of the property, and you could also miss some "red flags" and negotiating opportunities that only a trained real estate professional could recognize.
Other than price, location, size, and property condition, what are other key features you might want to keep your eye out for? Everyone has different priorities and "wish lists," but when you know what you want, you'll be a lot more likely to be satisfied with the outcome! While there is no shortage of house hunting checklists online, here's a quick overview of some of the features and property characteristics you'll want to keep in mind.
Although you'll generally want to have a home inspector take a close look at any home you've made an offer on, there are a few key things you can notice before you even get to that stage. The condition of interior walls, the roof, and basement are three areas worth paying close attention to. Wet basements are not uncommon, but they can cause damage to your foundation and many things you might want to store there. Wet basements are also breeding grounds for mold spores, so a chronically wet basement can potentially be hazardous to your health, too -- especially if you or your family is prone to allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions. The Environmental Protection Agency is a good source of information on indoor air quality issues.
There are literally dozens of other details you'll want to pay attention to in prospective homes, including amount of storage space, the size of the back yard, privacy -- or the lack, thereof -- the house's distance from the street and other houses, the neighborhood noise level, the amount of street traffic, the reputation of nearby schools, and convenience to shopping centers, medical facilities, transportation, recreation, and entertainment. Other desirable features include a nice patio or deck, a garage, a fully functional HVAC system, updates to bathrooms and the kitchen, and enough room in the house for your growing family, overnight guests, and the occasional holiday party.
When everything is online, it’s hard to discern when getting up, leaving the house, and checking out a home can be helpful. There’s so much information regarding real estate online; you probably want to pick and choose when and where you go to see a home. Even if you’re nowhere near being able to buy a home, you may want to check out open houses to help you in the future.
Looking at real estate is fun. You can dream of living in a neighborhood on the street you may never be able to afford. There are many advantages to checking out open houses.
You’ll Understand How Far Your Dollar Will Stretch
The type of home that you can afford, and the type of home you want may not be in the same ballpark. If you take a look at different open houses, you may be able to see where your budget takes you. Even if the market changes, you’ll be able to match your expectations with your wallet. As you know what’s out there, you’ll be able to hone in on what you want in a home.
From here, it will be easier to work with a real estate agent because you’ll be able to give them a better idea of what you want when the time does come to buy a home.
It Will Be Easier To Hire An Agent
As you go to open houses, you’ll meet more real estate agents. These agents can become potential hires once you do get more serious about buying.
You’ll See The Market Firsthand
Besides understanding how much house you can get for your dollar, you’ll be able to get an idea of how many buyers are actually out there. If you’re seeing many other potential buyers at open houses, you may be facing quite a bit of competition when you head out to buy a home of your own. When the competition is high, you’re looking at offering above asking price for houses. You could even get into bidding wars. A lot of other buyers doesn’t mean you should back out of buying a home altogether, but just enter the market with caution.
You Can Discover New Areas
By exploring open houses, you may find a neighborhood that you love that wasn’t on your list before. How can you get to know an area if you have never spent time there before?
You’ll Learn Where You Need To Compromise
By looking at different houses, you can see the potential (or lack thereof) in many homes. If you can see where you’d be willing to compromise long before the home search is on, your search will be that much smoother
You know you want to pursue a home, and as such, likely plan to attend lots of house showings in the near future. Before you check out a residence in-person, however, it generally is a good idea to prepare as much as possible. That way, you can use a home showing to learn about a residence, evaluate a house's pros and cons and determine if a particular home is right for you.
Ultimately, there are many factors to consider before you attend a home showing, and these factors include:
1. Your Home Must-Haves
It often helps to make a list of "must-haves" prior to launching a house search. With this list at your disposal, you can narrow your home search and schedule showings for residences that offer the features you want.
You may want to put together a list of preferred cities and towns, too. This list will help you hone your house search to residences in cities and towns where you want to live. Then, you can set up showings to view residences in these areas.
2. Your Homebuying Budget
You likely have only a finite amount of money you can spend on a residence. If you start a house search with a budget in hand, you can search for homes that fall in line with your finances and schedule property showings accordingly.
Typically, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you meet with a variety of banks and credit unions, you can learn about different home financing options. You then can select a mortgage and start to schedule showings for residences that correspond to your budget.
3. Your Homebuying Timeline
If you want to buy a house as quickly as possible, you may want to start scheduling home showings right away. This will enable you to find and relocate to a new home without delay.
On the other hand, if you can afford to be patient, you may want to take a wait-and-see approach to home showings. In this scenario, you may want to keep a close eye on the housing sector in your preferred cities and towns. Because if you do so, you can pounce at opportunities to view quality residences as soon as they become available.
As you get ready to pursue your ideal residence, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. A real estate agent can set up home showings and offer tips and recommendations to help you streamline your house search. In addition, if you ever have questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent can instantly respond to them.
When it comes to home showings, it may be beneficial to prepare. If you consider the aforementioned factors prior to a house showing, you may boost the likelihood of finding your dream house. Perhaps best of all, you could speed up your home search and discover a great residence that you can enjoy for years to come.
If you want to list your home, it generally is a good idea to address any house selling concerns right away. That way, you can alleviate these concerns before they slow down the home selling process or prevent you from accomplishing your desired home selling results.
Now, let's take a look at three common home selling concerns, as well as tips to help you resolve these issues.
1. Meeting Your Home Selling Timeline
If you want to sell your home by a specific date, it often helps to establish house selling milestones. Then, once you have these milestones in place, you can determine the steps you'll need to take to stay on track with your home selling timeline.
Of course, it typically helps to maintain flexibility relative to your home selling timeline. If you can quickly adjust your house selling timeline as needed, you may be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a seamless home selling experience.
2. Determining the Right Initial Asking Price for Your Home
How you price your residence can have major ramifications on your house selling experience. If you conduct a home appraisal, however, you can gain the insights you need to establish a competitive initial asking price for your home.
A home appraisal usually won't take long to complete, and the evaluation enables you to obtain a property valuation. Once you have this valuation, you can use it to price your residence competitively – something that could help you speed up the home selling journey.
3. Optimizing Your Home Sale Earnings
As a home seller, your goal is likely to earn as much as you can from your house sale. Yet optimizing your home sale earnings may be difficult, particularly if you fail to promote your residence effectively. But if you learn about your target buyer, you could boost the likelihood of getting the best price for your residence.
Think about your home and why a buyer may want to purchase it. Next, you can craft a home listing to highlight your house's amenities and features to the right groups of buyers.
Take a look at the local housing sector, too. If you find out how your residence stacks up against comparable houses in your city or town, you may discover innovative ways to differentiate your home from the competition. And as a result, you could reap the benefits of a fast, profitable home selling experience.
Lastly, if you require extra help during the home selling journey, don't hesitate to contact a real estate agent. This housing market professional can offer tips and recommendations to help you identify and address home selling hurdles before they get out of hand. Best of all, if you ever have concerns or questions at any point in the home selling journey, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them.
Want to add your house to the real estate market? Address the aforementioned home selling concerns, and you can enter the housing market with a plan in place to achieve the optimal results.