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  • Mark Pattison

5 Tips for Your Home Search

Today's real estate market has many areas of low inventory. First time home buyers can get frustrated if not prepared. Lets talk about some helpful steps to keep the excitement through the home search process.

1) Get Pre-Approved for a mortgage before you begin the search

Getting pre-qualified for a mortgage shoes sellers how serious you are about buying a home. If the market you are in is not competitive, the pre-approval is still beneficial to you. Getting pre-qualified helps you to understand your budget and find dream homes in your range.

Pre-approval will allow you to narrow down your search based on your budget. You will be able to confidently find your dream home with out the uncertainty.

2) Realize the difference between "must haves" and "would like to haves"

Do you need the white kitchen cabinets to be happy in your new home? Is a yard more of a desire or a necessity? Can the bathroom be viewed as a future renovation rather than a deal-breaker?

Before looking at homes, make a list of all the features that you desire and require in your future home. Sort these features by "must have", "should have", or "would like to have". This list will help you focus on the necessities rather than the wish list features.

3) Do your research and find the neighborhood you want to live in

Each neighborhood has its ups and downs. Each neighborhood has its own charm. Before deciding on the home, consider the surrounding areas. It is often suggested to do a test-drive before buying the home. Confirm that the area meets all your needs and works well with your commute.

4) Pick a home style

Consider the needs of you and your family and search for the kind of home to best meet those needs. Once you've narrowed down the zip code, this step will help you in narrowing down the homes within the area.

If your family has children and you would like your bedroom on the same level, chose a ranch home, or a two-story home with all bedrooms on the second story. If you want a single family home, steer away from condos.

5) Take notes

Once you begin your home tours, your memories of each home will begin to blur together. Be sure to document the things you love and don't love about each property. You can take notes on each listing sheet. These notes will help you remember small details or how the home made you feel. It may also be beneficial to snap a few photos.

In a competitive, quick-moving environment these steps will be incredibly helpful with buying your dream home.

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