BuyerHome Buying TipsHome Search November 21, 2022

5 Ways to Find the House You Love

YOU have finally decided to make the big leap. This may be your first time, or you could have a few purchases under your belt. Either way, it’s a big decision. Finding a house you love takes planning and preparation. However, when you put the effort in, the payoff is huge.


Here are five ways to find a house you love:


1. Do the Math.

Before you begin the search for the perfect house, you have to know your budget. Work with a lender to determine your borrowing power, then determine what you are comfortable paying. Just because you are approved for a certain amount, doesn’t mean you have to spend that much. Rather than purchasing a home at the top of your limit, leave some wiggle room in your budget for home renovations, routine maintenance, property taxes, or to buy decorative furnishings for your new home.


2. Determine Your Non-Negotiables.

How many bedrooms do you need? Bathrooms? Do you need a garage? Does the house have to be new construction? These are all things you need to consider when searching for the house you love. Before beginning your search, create a list of your must-haves and non-negotiables. This will help keep you from getting distracted by houses that don’t meet your needs.


3. Find the Right Agent.

Now that you have set a budget and know what you’re looking for in a new house, it’s time to find an agent. It’s important that you feel your real estate agent is knowledgeable, trustworthy, and caring. Your agent will guide you through the process to ensure you understand the many details of home-buying while helping you find a home you love.


4. Search the Neighborhood.

When you buy a house, you’re essentially buying the neighborhood. What kind of neighborhood do you want? Is it important to be near a grocery store? Bus stop? Your kids’ school? Do you want to be able to chat with your neighbors over the fence, or is solitude more your speed? Do you want a kid-friendly neighborhood? If so, look for pools, bikes, basketball goals, and swing sets. Check out the other houses in the neighborhood. Are their properties maintained well? Do you see old appliances and other junk behind fences? If so, this is an indicator of a neighborhood that’s losing value. These are all things to consider when determining what neighborhood is going to best suit your needs. Also visit the neighborhood both during the day and at night before you buy. Those visits will give you clues about the area to see if it’s too quiet, too noisy, or just right for you.


5. Inspect, Inspect, and Inspect Again.

When looking for your dream home, make sure to keep your eyes open and look beyond the obvious.

Try out everything in the house: flush the toilets, climb the attic stairs, search the crawl space, check water flow, look at floors (under rugs), check out the walls (behind pictures), and look at the ceiling. You’re looking for signs or water or structural damage, which could lead to costly repairs.

Once your potential dream house has passed your personal test, hire a professional inspector. According to Bob Vila, “Inspections can uncover reasons you absolutely should not buy that house, such as structural problems with the foundation.”