It is hard not to get lost and confused while searching for the perfect home. You can easily get swept away by a home’s most alluring detail while overlooking the important stuff such as price. If you are planning on touring a bunch of houses every week, keeping the features of every one you visit from getting mixed up and blurred together can get tricky. So, it’s helpful to set priorities and keep track of what you’ve seen. Keep in mind that it’s probably the most important purchase that you’ll ever make in your life and having a solid plan before engaging in the search is essential.
Before even taking a look at any house, sit down with your family members and start writing down all the things you need and all the things you would like to have in your new home. Next, list them in order of importance, for example: maximum price, overall square footage, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, size of the yard, home style. You could also add items such as: large master bedroom, large kitchen, laundry room, fireplace, pool or garage. Keep your list close at hand when you enter a house to help you stay on track.
Sketch a floor plan
During your tour of the house make sure to draw a basic floor plan on a piece of paper to refer to later. Start at the front door, then continue by drawing boxes for rooms. Roughly mark doors, windows and stairways. Another helpful thing to do is to bring a meter and measure every room because if every room in the house presents problems with your current furniture situation, you are needlessly going to be spending money on new ones.
Review the house in detail
Look high and look low as to make sure that the house isn’t hiding skeletons in its closet. Focus on things outside the usual. Check the ceilings, walls, floors, windows, roofs and under the sink. Even lift up the rugs and furniture because they can sometimes be used to conceal damaged flooring.
Snap photos or even take videos
It’s amazing how quickly memory fades and ultimately the best way to record your visit is to take photos and record videos. But be sure to ask for permission first and don’t post them on Facebook or your blog, at least not until you own the house. Together with the floor plan sketches, it will really give you a full picture of what the house looks like.
Use the Internet to your advantage
Technology has come a long way! You can find lots of helpful apps for buying a home that have virtual tours, video content, and other features to assist you when screening properties. They will allow you to preview properties online first with the goal to reduce the number of homes you have to visit. It’s a real time saver!
After seeing several homes, review your notes and start comparing. After narrowing down to a few houses, revisit them again for a second look and in the end you are going to pin down that perfect home you have been dreaming about.