As a buyer, try to keep everything in perspective. Be picky, but don’t be unrealistic - there is no perfect home. Know this and set your expectations accordingly.
- Do your homework before you start looking - decide specifically what features you want in a home and which are most important to you. Be sure to communicate this to your agent.
- Do drive-bys - you will save time by doing drive-bys of potential homes. Many homes can be eliminated because you don’t like the neighborhood, you don’t want a corner lot, you don’t like the cell phone tower in the backyard, the house is too close to the neighbors, or the yard backs up to the highway.
- Urgency - be prepared to look at new listings on short notice. Great homes, priced well, sell quickly
- Don’t ask too many people for advice - it will drive you crazy! Select one or two friends to turn to if you need to bounce off ideas.
- Decide when you can move - when is your lease up? Do your have to sell your current home first? Are you allowed to sub-let?
- Think long-term - are you looking for a starter home with the idea of moving up in a few years, or you planning on staying in the home longer? This decision will dictate what type of home you’ll buy as well as what type of mortgage terms best suit you.
- “Fixer Uppers” - they may not be the deal you think they will be. There are hundreds of investors out there looking for “wholesale homes.” Typically they are strong, cash buyers willing to purchase with NO contingencies. It’s difficult to compete with these buyers.
- Be decisive - good homes sell quickly in any market! If you see the home that you need to have, don’t wait too long. Ask yourself, “How would I feel if this house was under contract tomorrow?”
- Quality, not quantity - running around looking at 100 homes is counterproductive. Select homes that meet your must-have criteria and don’t get distracted.
- Limit your HGTV watching - remember that “reality” television shows about home buying are not real in any way. Having this type of expectation will lead to certain frustration.