By the time you start visiting listings, you’ve already gone through what seems like the hard part. You’ve determined your wants and needs, talked to lenders, and narrowed your search to a few neighborhoods. Now comes the fun part! You get to look at homes every weekend. But, it isn’t as glamorous as it looks on HGTV. You need to be strategic. I’ll give you four little-known house hunting tips for Fort Collins, or anywhere in Northern Colorado, to provide you with an added edge in your search.
Don’t Take in Too Much at Once
House hunting is very different than shopping for anything else in your life. For one, it’s a considerable investment. Such a big commitment can be overwhelming. For this reason, don’t take in too much at once. Limit the number of homes you look at each weekend. Looking at a dozen homes in one day makes it harder to narrow down your criteria, and it gets hard to remember what you were looking for in the first place.
Additionally, packing your schedule with home tours and viewings is stressful and exhausting. It’s better to have a clear head and a good attitude so you can make the best decision. If you start to feel overwhelmed with the process, go back to the drawing board and reestablish your wants, needs, and budget. Finally, don’t waste your time looking at houses that are way outside your budget or far from the area you want to live in. Looking at unobtainable houses adds to the confusion and makes buying harder.
Take Notes and Photos
Even if you limit the number of homes you see in one day, it’s still easy to get confused and mix up the details. Unless you have a photographic memory, taking notes and pictures is a must! Take note of the things you like and especially the things you dislike about each home.
You don’t have to get a shot of every angle, but take pictures of the details that stand out or may not be included in the online gallery. In addition to photographs, write descriptive notes about each home and its surroundings. What schools and shops are nearby? Did the neighborhood seem nice? Did you notice any red flags during your tour? Take down notes during the tour or immediately after so the details are still fresh in your mind!
You Don’t Need Advice From Everyone
You’re making one of the most significant purchases of your life, so, understandably, you look to people you trust for advice. However, that doesn’t mean you should take advice from EVERYBODY. Not everyone has the same priorities and goals. Make sure you only take advice from people who have insight into your situation. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” approach to buying a home. You have a unique financial situation and criteria for buying a home.
Moreover, the housing market has changed drastically throughout the years. Good advice for buying a home 20 years ago no longer applies. Trust your gut and politely disregard unsolicited advice. At the end of the day, YOU will be living in your new home.
Take a Second Look
It’s good to be timely and proactive when you find a home you love. If you wait too long to make an offer, you could easily miss out on your dream home. That said, don’t jump the gun and commit to a house without taking a second look. When you fall in love with a home, you see it through rose-colored glasses. It’s impossible to take in every detail in one showing. You’ll be amazed at what you missed the first time.
Take these four house hunting tips for Fort Collins and Northern Colorado to heart, and you’ll be one step ahead of everyone else. Contact me with any questions, and stay tuned for next week’s article! I’m giving you the answers to my buyers’ most frequently asked questions.
I'm Lauren Haug! I'm a teacher-turned-real estate agent, and I teach people how to build wealth through real estate in Northern Colorado.
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