Perhaps the best part of the entire home buying process is the actual house hunt. You get to see pretty interiors, drive-by manicured lawns, and imagine, even for just an hour or so, what it’s like to live there. At the same time, though, the house hunt is the most energy-draining.
That is because there are so many good choices in the market. After looking at so many homes, going up and down the stairs, talking to agents, and weighing whether the open floor plan is for you or not, you’ll definitely be pooched and groggy.
The best way to avoid the exhaustion and make your house hunt meaningful is to narrow down your options right from the start. How do you do that? Here is the game plan.
Create a checklist
Before you go out shopping, make a list of your needs and wants. Under the ‘needs’, specify the location, layout, and number of rooms. All the rest fall under the “wants,” Yes, those granite countertops and nice man caves are just wants (don’t justify them as needs).
While you fill up your list, do not forget your space requirements in five to seven years. Maybe in that period, you wanted to have another child or retire from work. These changes in your lifestyle will affect how you will use your space. So you want to consider that if you’re planning to stay for long.
Another thing you should keep in mind is your budget. If you do not know yet how much home you can afford, get quotes from different lending agencies now. With a figure in mind, you will be able to filter the items you put in that checklist. And with this checklist, it will now be easier to do the next action point.
Surf the web
Let your fingers do the search first before tiring out your feet and mind in the actual houses. Key in the needs you have at your checklist in the search filter. The location, the number of rooms, the square footage. Hit “Enter,” and you will have options already for which homes fit your preferences.
Yes, it may still be a lot, but it is technically a lot fewer than just having a rough mental picture of the “dream home.” Now that you have those options, go through them, based on the images that stand out to you. Save the link and the photos of what struck you as interesting the most.
Do note that there are also apps that you can use. These are more user-friendly than the websites since some allow you to save items in the app, making organising stuff easy. Of course, it is crucial to look beyond the houses. Check out the neighbourhood of your target properties, too.
Use Google Maps for this. You will be able to find if that house and land in a Melbourne West suburb really fits your lifestyle.
Decide on the magic number
Here’s the thing, even if you’ve narrowed down your search to the type of neighbourhood you want, to the number of rooms you need, or to your budget, you might end up saving a lot of houses in your app, still. Fight that urge. As early as now, decide on the number of homes you can afford to visit.
“Afford,” means you have the energy for, you have the resources (the gas money, especially) for. It is highly recommended to stick to 3-5. You will be overwhelmed in comparing houses when you go beyond that. Would you really want to go over 10 flyers of different homes? Right?
Agree with your spouse on the magic number.
House Hunting Made Easy
The actual home search is fun yet tiring. You can keep the exhaustion and stress at bay, though when you learn to narrow down your options. How have you been shrinking your property choices?