This was my first time getting to house hunt. My husband owned our Virginia home when we got married so when we moved to Tennessee I was so excited to go house hunting. I am by no means an expert but I learned a few things so these are my 6 Key House Hunting Tips.
1. Know your budget- It is so important to know your budget and what you can afford. It is also so important to stay inside of your budget. The first thing we had to do was to realize that this home was not going to be our ultimate dream home. We have a lot on that dream list and they aren’t things you generally get in your second house. So we had to be realistic in our search and our list of things we wanted now.
2. Make a list– We made a list of things we wanted in a house and then we divided them up into Must Have’s, Would like to have and Would be nice to have. As we looked at the different houses we were able to see which criteria each house met and focus on making sure we got a house that met the majority of our Must Have’s.
3. Research– Do your research on which area to move to and school systems, if that’s important to you. We don’t have kids yet but we wanted to make sure we were in a good school district both for the future and also for resale value. It is also important to take into account things like commute, we lived with my sister and her husband for two months so when we purchased our house 5 minutes from them we were aware of my husbands commute to work.
4. Find a good realtor– Find someone that you can trust. Ask around and try and find one through a recommendation from a friend or family member if possible. Make sure they understand your budget and your timetable for finding a house. If you don’t like them when you first meet them don’t be afraid to try another realtor.
5. Search Online– If you’re like me then you are looking for houses before your move is even official. I love to look at houses so I already had my top houses picked out. But once I got to Tennessee everything changed due to the neighborhoods and then of course seeing the houses in person. Be willing to take a look at houses even if they don’t look good in the pictures. Sometimes the pictures can be misleading, in both good and bad ways. But you never know until you go and see in person.
6. Drive around- look at neighborhoods and see how they look and what is nearby. Check out the neighborhoods at different times of day and look for warning sides of a bad neighborhood such as run-down houses, cars in the yard etc. It just depends on what matters to you in a neighborhood.
What tips would you add to this list? Do you love or hate house hunting? I think I loved it until I got to that point where I was like we will never find a house. Then we walked into our house and I immediately knew it was the one. That was a relief.