With spring comes daffodils and tulips, chocolate bunnies and Easter egg hunts, home buyers and sellers! No doubt, spring is one of the most popular times to buy and sell a home, especially here in Central Indiana.
Hunting for the perfect house can be challenging, but it can also be a ton of fun (especially if you work with a fun real estate team who knows how to keep the buying process lighthearted)! In the spirit of keeping your home search pleasant and enjoyable, here is our advice for hunting down the perfect home.
TIP #1: Get your finances in order.
Before you begin your home search, there are a few tasks you need to complete. It’s especially important that you get your finances in order and ensure that you are financially able to buy a home. Some financial tasks to complete include: check your credit score (and improve it if it’s a less-than-great score); save for a down payment; save for closing costs and other home buying expenses; get pre-approved for a mortgage; and know your budget.
TIP #2: Know what you want in a house.
Buying a house is sort of like getting married. You and your new house are going to spend a lot of time together—for some people that means the rest of their lives. Just like it’s important to know what you want in a partner before marrying, it’s important to know what you want in a house before buying.
Make a list of wants/needs to help you identify what you MUST have and what you’d LIKE to have but could live without. Share this list with your Realtor so he/she only shows you houses that include your wants. If you know you MUST have 4 bedrooms, there’s no reason to look at 2 bedroom bungalows. If you know you want a condo, there’s no reason to view single family homes. Narrowing in on what you really want will save time and energy. You won’t waste time viewing houses that don’t fit your needs.
Friendly reminder: It’s important to be realistic with your wants/needs list. Needing 3 bedrooms, a two-car garage, and 2 full baths is realistic. Needing 10 bedrooms with 10 walk-in closets, a 5 car garage, a solarium, and a planetarium is probably not.
TIP #3: Know where you want to go.
The perfect house in the wrong neighborhood is not the perfect house. You might be happy inside the house, but as soon as you step foot outside you’re going to experience home buyer’s remorse. Know which neighborhoods you’d like to live in and keep your home search focused on these neighborhoods.
TIP #4: Focus on the right qualities.
Upon first glance, a home may not look “perfect” but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the perfect home for you! What do we mean? Don’t get turned off by home qualities that don’t matter or that can easily be changed. This is a common home buyer trap you need to be aware of so you don’t fall into it. Instead of focusing on paint colors and carpeting, focus on the qualities that cannot be changed (or cannot be changed very easily nor affordably) like location, size, and layout.
TIP #5: Pick a Realtor that is knowledgable and trustworthy (and that you can stand being around)!
Finding the perfect house takes time and effort. When you employ a Realtor to help you with your home search, you’ll notice that a huge weight is lifted from your shoulders. A good Realtor will listen to your needs and desires and take that information to find you viable options within your price range. You can say goodbye to late night Zillow searches! A buyer’s agent will also help you with negotiations, completing the correct paperwork on time, and can give you recommendations for other professionals like mortgage lenders and home inspectors.
While it’s most important to choose a Realtor who is knowledgeable, honest, and trustworthy, we would also add that it’s very important to choose a Realtor that you enjoy being around. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your Realtor. If you can’t stand the sight of him, that’s going to be a problem no matter how knowledgable he is! Buying a home is a wonderful milestone in your life, enjoy it with a Realtor who compliments your personality.
If you are in the Central Indiana area and need a Realtor to help you hunt down the perfect house, contact the Ferris Property Group. To everyone else, happy hunting!
Additional home buying resources you may find helpful:
Are you searching for a home or Bigfoot by Debbie Drummond
What to look for during your final walk-through by Ferris Property Group
Home buyers: Don’t wait forever for ‘The One’ by Angela Colley for Realtor.com