If you want to know how to find a house that will satisfy your needs and wants, but also stay within your budget goals, you only have to follow five simple steps.
Too often, I see people search for a house without having "all their ducks in a row," and inevitably it leads to a loss of money or worse, the purchase of the wrong home.
Can you imagine spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and then regretting your decision of buying a home?
You can know how to find a house the smart way, by following these 5 steps.
How To Find A House In Five Easy Steps
The internet has made it so easy to find a home almost anywhere in the world.
Buying a home has gone from a "days in the car" process to an "hours on the computer"system for people who are comfortable with an internet browser and are happy to search for a house from the comforts of their home or office.
But the easy and simple access to search for houses has created problems for first-time and experienced homebuyers alike.
Remember, there are over 4,000 homes for sale in Tallahassee and the surrounding counties, so knowing how to find a house is not hard, but learning how to shop for houses that are right for you and your family should be the goal now.
Interview And Hire A Buyer's Agent - The real estate industry is so funny. When somebody wants to sell a home, the first they do is contact real estate agents to list the property for sale. In other words, they hire a real estate professional to take care of them, to get them the most money for the home, and to walk them through the process. Yet when somebody wants to buy a home, they put this off until after they start looking at houses. They end up selecting a home and getting the agent who "comes with the house" that they like. This is crazy! Hire your advocate before you get started (the best part, is your agent will be paid by the seller!).
Learn And Understand The Process - You don't have to be an expert at buying a home when you hire an expert who knows more than just how to find a house. There is a smart process that we teach in our Home Buying For Smart People e-course that allows you to establish yourself in the best posture for negotiating a great deal, even before you start your search for a house. Too often, people find a home before they have themselves prepared to negotiate the best deal, and this is a huge mistake.
Get A Bag Of Money - One you have a solid understanding of the home buying process, you need to get your finances in order. When it comes time to make an offer, you need to appear as strong as a cash buyer. If you need to borrow money, you should have all of that worked out before you approach a homeowner with an offer. Always negotiate from a position of strength if you can. When you make an offer contingent upon financing, you do not appear nearly as strong as somebody who makes an all-cash offer. Having your financing approved up-front is like standing in front of the home seller with a bag of money!
Prioritize Your Needs And Wants - Face it, you won't find the perfect home. No matter what your budget, there will be compromises made along the way. If you want to know how to find a house that will keep you happy for a long time, you have to predetermine your compromises before you tell your real estate agent to "find me a house!" You want four bedrooms and you want to be in a certain school zone. If your budget won't get both, will you compromise by choosing 3 bedrooms? Or will you see if another school zone is acceptable? These are the types of compromises that you'll need to make along the way.
Rank Every Home That You Select - If you end up looking at more than a few houses, it is very easy to begin losing focus on your objective ... which is finding the best home for you and your family. Knowing how to find a house is one thing, doing it correctly takes a little discipline. If you choose five homes to view, start with the one that you think you will buy. Before you leave that home, rank it on a scale of one to ten, and then think about what it would take to "make it a 10." (Remember compromises...) When you visit the second home, rank it as well. If it scores lower than the first home, the FORGET ABOUT IT. Continue looking at all homes, comparing them only to the highest ranked home. This process will ensure that you don't end up thinking (I like the pool at the first home, the living room of the second home, the kitchen in third home, etc.). You can't have parts of the first home combined with features of the second home. It's one or the other.
How To Find A House That Makes You SmileUltimately, we all know how to find a house that we can afford. And we all know how to find a house that will blow us away with great features. But if you know how to find a house that fulfills both goals, your family will enjoy it for many years to come. Take the time to use the five points explained above and you will be successful in your home buying experience. Of course, if you want to know how to find a house in the Tallahassee real estate market, just drop me a note and we can schedule a time to review your specific needs and wants.
Joe Manausa, MBA is a 26 year veteran of real estate brokerage in Tallahassee, Florida and has owned and managed his own company since 1992. He is a daily blogger with content that focuses on real estate analytics and providing his clients with a tactical advantage in today's challenging market.