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Tips for Finding Your Next Home

Sometimes finding your next home can seem like a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be.

Aside from the location, price and general type of home you are searching for, there are some additional things to consider in order to find your next home.


– Have a systematic approach to finding an agent you feel comfortable with. Stick with him/her as opposed to looking up properties on Zillow and calling any agent that comes up for those properties. Working with a real-estate agent who knows what you are looking for makes a huge difference. It facilitates the process and you get the benefit of their expertise.


– Consider a home in regard to what it offers both inside and outside of the walls. Consider things like drive time and where you will be traveling to.


– Look at the benefits and drawbacks of suburban vs. city living. For example, many people are drawn to suburbs because you can get more house for your dollar, but if you want to do things in town, don’t live more than 15 minutes from it. Consider what you value and how you will spend your time once you move to your new home.


– Thinking about the location within any given neighborhood is critical. Does the home back up to a busy road, or up to the woods? Survey the entire life experience a particular home provides. Walk the neighborhood. Get a feel for the neighbors. If you have children, visit the school they would attend. If you like the surroundings and vibe of the community, you will most likely enjoy living there.


-The condition of the home is important. Is it move in-ready or a fixer-upper? Are you willing to complete some home renovations to create your dream home? If you aren’t interested in additional work after you move, stick with homes that have everything in place for you to move in seamlessly. That way you’ll be able to enjoy your new home right away, and won’t have to spend time and money working on your home.


– For condos, look carefully at the HOA fees as well as any upcoming repairs that will be needed that will cause your fees to increase.


-The layout of a home is an important factor. Think about how the space will be used. Are you looking for an open floor plan? Would you like a guest bedroom on the first floor to make it easier when parents visit? Ask yourself questions about how you will be using your living space and consider what your needs are.


-Consider plans you have for the near future. Will the home suit your needs now as well as in the next few years? Is there room to expand if the household grows?


-Remain flexible. It may be difficult to find a home or condo that has everything you are looking for. Take the time to figure out its importance to you. You may find that while some things are deal-breakers, other things aren’t essential. You may not be able to live without a third bedroom, but could you skip a fireplace?


-Don’t make a decision based on furnishings and decor that are in the home currently. Although a style you like makes it easier to envision yourself living in the house, chances are the furnishings aren’t part of the deal. The same goes for paint colors, wallpaper and flooring- it’s not permanent. Check into the costs and inquire about reducing the rate to cover the expense of removal and replacement.

Consult the tips above to help you determine what to consider when searching for a home. Create a list of items that are important to you, which will help organize what you are looking for. Take the time to add key features you’re not willing to live without, then add some things you would consider “perks” if they were available. This small effort keeps things on the right track when you begin to look for your next home, and will also ensure everyone involved is on the same page.

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