House Hunting Tips You Need to Know

Posted by Staff Reporter on Feb 28, 2019 09:38 PM EST
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House Hunting Tips You Need to Know

House hunting can be both exciting and tiresome. There are some things that you can do to help make the experience more manageable and less frustrating. Following these basic house hunting tips will help you find the right home for you and your family in the fastest, most stress-free way possible.

Pre-Qualify for a Mortgage

Getting pre-qualified for a mortgage should be your first step in finding a new house. You should talk to some lenders and get prequalified before you ever start looking at listings. Getting prequalified for a mortgage helps you with buying power and leverage when talking to realtors and sellers because you are guaranteed to be able to buy their listing. Also, getting prequalified will help you determine how what house you can afford and what is within your budget. This is important when shopping in larger cities like Winnipeg or Toronto where houses can range from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands.

Know What You Want

Really sit down with your spouse and children and brainstorm what you want in the ideal home. You should ideally have three lists-a list of must-haves, a list of desired by not necessary, and a list of deal breakers. Keep these lists with you while you look at homes and make sure that you stick to your guns. You don't want to end up in a house that doesn't meet all of your needs or requirements.

You can use a similar checklist to determine what location you want to live in. Things like good schools, easy access shopping, a short commute to work, a local community center, and other traits and amenities could be necessary for the location you choose to live in.

Scope Out the Location

If you have an idea of where you want to live, scope out the location and make sure that you're going to be happy in that neighborhood or city. Remember that where you live will determine where you shop, where your kids go to school, and what amenities are available to you. Driving around and looking at different towns, suburbs or neighborhoods can give you a better idea of whether or not you really want to live there.

Drive Around to Find Houses for Sale

While you are scoping out the neighborhoods, look carefully for signs in yards. Many people who are listing for sale by owner never actually post a listing anywhere you could easily find it. Some realtors also get signs posted in yards before the listings get updated in the system and advertised. You may be surprised at how many more options you find just by driving around the neighborhoods.

Visit Open Houses

Open houses are often a better option than merely scheduling a visit with the realtor or homeowner. When you go to an open house, you have plenty of time to look around and evaluate the property. If you schedule an appointment to see a home, you may feel rushed by the realtor. Besides, when you go to an open house, there will be other potential buyers there that may think to ask questions you didn't consider, but the answers could be significant.

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