When you’re pre-approved by a lender and ready to start your home search, you want to be smart and prepared. That’s because searching for homes can be exhausting and overwhelming. And all the properties you look at can begin to meld together in your mind.
When looking at homes for sales, there is a right way and a wrong way. Yep, I said it. Let me show you the right way to look at homes so you can be sure you’re buying the right house for you and your family.
Act Like You Own the Place
When most people go on their home search, they go inside and walk around like they’re a guest. That’s because they are. But unfortunately, what happens is they never focused on what it’s like to really live in that place.
For example, how’s the water pressure in that beautiful custom waterfall shower? The only way to find out is to turn it on. This may seem a little unorthodox but most homeowners don’t mind this kind of hands-on approach. As long as it doesn’t involve rummaging in their stuff. That’s because they put that gorgeous shower head in their bathroom and certainly want you, the potential buyer, to appreciate it, too.
This also goes for lighting. Turn on every light in the house to see if there are any dark spots in the house you just can’t live with. And when it comes to the plumbing, don’t stop with the showers. Make sure the hot water comes on quickly and the pressure is good in the kitchen and other sinks, too.
Open windows and see how well they open and close. There’s nothing worse than a sticky window. Also in the winter months, you can feel for drafts in the windows.
Put on Your Listening Ears
During your search, you want to slow down long enough to listen for sounds – in the house and outside. Is there a noisy dog who hasn’t stopped barking yet? Are you in a condo where you can hear the pitter-patter of adult feet? Or is the guy across the street blasting his music while he’s cleaning the garage? All these can be indicators of an annoying problem if you buy that house.
After you preview the inside, and you still love the house – it’s time to take the show on the road. Start by driving around the neighborhood. Then get out and park so you can take a stroll through your prospective neighborhood.
See if the neighbors are friendly or drive too fast through the streets. Are there lots of kids or a bunch of young professional types? And if after all that, you still love the neighborhood – come back later. Drive through again on a Saturday or an evening after work. This can tell you a lot about a neighborhood.
One final thing to look at if you want to go through the trouble is to drive back to that home during rush hour. Or better yet, drive there straight home from work and see if that drive home is something you can live with.
Have you been pre-approved to buy your home yet? If not, find out how much you are pre-approved to buy by filling out our simple pre-approval form HERE.