There is no doubt about it. House hunting is not an easy process. Not only is it time consuming, but it’s also financially and emotionally draining.
Driving around from house to house and sacrificing your time (entire days, sometimes) to being disappointed because the listing just isn’t what it looked like online can really kick your budget to the curb, and in a seller’s market, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up less than thrilled with the negotiations and bidding wars on a home that you became attached to because it seemed just perfect for your family.
The difficulty of house hunting is just a small speed bump when it comes to home ownership. While house hunting is impossible to make flat out easy, there are certainly ways to make it easier.
Instead of letting your real estate agent own the house hunting process for you, look online before forging out. If you look online, you can send a list of houses that you want to see to your agent. At the end of the day, your Realtor is looking out for him or herself, not you, so you have to do some of the legwork yourself.
This will avoid wasting time seeing homes that you have no interest in seeing.
Filter the Results
When we first started house hunting, I wanted to see ALL of the houses, even if the description left a lot to be desired. I thought that maybe we’d find one that had been described poorly but would be a great house, or a diamond in the rough that had a ton of potential that we could fix up.
Do yourself a favour and filter the houses out that you are going to see just to the ones that you know will work for you. There is little value in wasting time looking at houses that won’t work on paper, because it likely won’t work in real life, either. Listing agents are generally good at their job and if they can’t make a house look good, listen to the listing.
Look At More Than One
If you have booked a viewing of one home on one day, look to see what other homes in the neighborhood you would like to see and see if your real estate agent can work it out so that you can see the other ones in the same trip. Looking at only one house in a trip wastes time and gas.
For an average sized house, it takes about half an hour to see the home. Add another fifteen minutes for driving and chatting at each house, and time it accordingly. Know yourself, as well. If you are more detail oriented, give yourself a bit more time.
Separate Your Emotion from the Process
There’s no doubt that house hunting is inherently an emotional process, and it can cause a lot of emotional upheaval. Most people get attached to a house, which is easy to understand. Homes are where we raise our families, spend our down time. They are our safe havens.
But emotions when house hunting can tarnish the process and be damaging when it comes to making the right choice. You need clarity of mind in order to make the best decision.
Try your best to separate your emotions from the process. Look at the house purely from a functional point of view. Picture your furniture, but not your children in the house.
Despite house hunting being a very challenging process, it’s still possible to make it easier on yourself. Use these tips and it will reduce the time, energy, and upheaval you experience during this process.