House Hunting Tips

December 10, 2018

House Hunting Tips

Hunting for a new home to purchase or rent is exciting, but can quickly become stressful and daunting if you are unsure of where to begin. Factors such as your overall investment, preferred locations, and surroundings are all essential elements to keep in mind while you are browsing the market for a home to rent or purchase. Using a few house-hunting tips, feel comfortable with and confident in the decision you make when signing a lease or seeking a loan for the home of your dreams. 

Seek Pre-Approval for a Mortgage 

If you are interested in investing in a home to buy, seek out pre-approval for a mortgage in your name. Knowing the amount you qualify for is highly advisable before you begin searching for properties that are most suitable for your household. Once you receive pre-approval for a mortgage, eliminate properties that are out of your budget to optimize the time you spend visiting open houses or scheduling walkthrough tours. 

Consider Your Needs 

Shopping for a new home can feel overwhelming if you are unsure of what you want. Create a list of absolute needs for your new home along with wanted features that are not necessities. When you know what you want, save time when scheduling viewing appointments or reviewing the current homes available in preferred neighborhoods of yours. Having a list of wants and needs readily available is also optimal if you choose to work together with a real estate agent. 

Browse for Homes Online 

When you want to maximize the number of properties you are able to see before visiting, do so online. Searching for available real estate online provides you with a preview of the homes' exterior, interior, as well as surrounding neighborhoods. Search for homes by entering the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you require along with the budget you have to work with while browsing online. 

Crime Rate 

Crime rates vary with each individual neighborhood, which is why it is essential to research the crime rate in areas you are thinking of investing in. Research theft, burglary, and violent crime rates or speak to your real estate agent to obtain the information you need to make a decision you feel comfortable with prior to signing a lease or purchasing a home. 

Foreclosure Index 

Research the foreclosure rates in neighborhoods you are most interested in before settling on a decision. Areas with high foreclosure rates may signify potentially high crime rates or other economic issues that may become problematic once you move in. 

Local School Districts 

If you have children or are planning to have a family, consider the local schools in the areas you are looking for homes in. Seek out school reports along with rankings online while comparing the districts' graduation rate and overall success. Read reviews and testimonials from parents in the neighborhood to gain valuable insight into the quality of education provided in neighborhoods with homes available. 

Public Transportation 

Public transportation is extremely important for individuals who do not drive or own a vehicle themselves. Additionally, public transportation reduces the overall cost of living when you no longer have a vehicle or insurance to pay for each month. Inquire about public transportation options if you are working with a real estate agent or research public transportation bus and subway lines. Determine the amount of distance to various stops from the homes you are looking at if you prefer an area that is rife with public transportation solutions. 

Commercial Area Access 

Is a town center packed with retail shops important to you? Do you want a coffee shop, mall, or restaurant near your new home? Research the commercial area that surrounds neighborhoods of interest to determine the time required to get from one location to the next. 

Find the Right Real Estate Agent 

Working together with a real estate agent who has your best interests in mind is essential to avoid investing in a home that is not right for you. A great real estate agent works hard to find properties that are optimal for you based on your desired preferences and the amount of space you require. With the right real estate agent, streamline the process of finding the perfect family home. 

When you have a complete understanding of how to properly hunt for a home, make a decision you feel satisfied with whether you are in the market to rent or purchase. With the right preparation and adequate research, find a property that meets your wants and needs while also doing the same for everyone in your household.