Buying a house is an arduous task that is full of ups and downs. More often than not, it feels like a never-ending process. But does it have to be that way? If you follow our list of the most useful house hunting tips, you might be moving into your new house faster than you expected. 

What Do You Need Before You Buy a House?

Before jumping into the process of buying a new house, make sure you have these things checked off on your list.  

1. Save Money For a Down Payment

If you want to speed up the house buying process, make sure you have enough money for a down payment. The standard used to be 20%, but many lenders accept less. For the best rate, putting down more is always necessary.

2. Know Your Price Range

One of the biggest things to look for when buying a house is the right price range. You have to know how much you can spend, and how much houses in your ideal area are priced at.

3. Check Your Credit Score

If your credit score isn’t where it should be, you may need to rethink applying for a mortgage. Make sure your credit is in good health and take care of any outstanding financial debts ahead of time.

4. Get Preapproved for a Loan

Getting preapproved for a loan is the best way to show sellers that you are a serious buyer. Not only that, but it will also give you a sense of how much money you can expect to receive from your bank. 

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House Hunting Tips

After running through your pre-hunt checklist, it’s time to start looking for a house. These tips might help you find what you are looking for faster. Remember that speed is of the essence when searching for a house in a competitive market. 

Find a Trustworthy Real Estate Agent

Enlisting the help of a real estate agent that you can trust can take some of the stress off your shoulders. Plus, you might be able to find your dream house faster. Here are a few basic questions your real agent should have the answers to.

  • Is a property sales report available?
  • How old is the property?
  • Why is it for sale?
  • How long has it been listed?
  • What is included in the sale of the home?

Browse Online Listings

Thanks to the internet, there are plenty of places to browse homes listed in your area. Be sure to check out popular websites like Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, and Occasionally, Craigslist will have some interesting listings, too.

Explore Pre-Market Listings

To explore pre-market listings, sometimes referred to as pre-MLS, you’ll need to work with your agent. They will have access to a database of houses that have not been offered publicly yet. Your agent will see what’s going to be available soon and may be able to help you find homes you wouldn’t otherwise know about.

House Hunting Checklist

If you’re looking for your dream home, be sure to check out the below tips. Review them, and add them to your house hunting preparation. They’ll help you narrow down the options to what fits you best, and can be given to your real estate agent as a general guideline.

Know Where You Want to Live

Knowing which type of house you want to buy is important, but so is the location. This does a number of things for you and your agent. Most importantly, the location indicates the price range you’re looking at, as well as the types of homes available. Know where you want to live ahead of time.

Check Out the Neighborhood

While you can do a lot online, there’s nothing like checking out the neighborhood in person. Doing this gives you an idea of the community, as well as the possible amenities in the area. The neighborhood is closely related to knowing where you want to live. It’s not uncommon for buyers to abandon their initial plans once they’ve walked around the neighborhood for a bit. 

Find a Place Near a School District

There are several benefits to living in a neighborhood that is part of an established school district. Of course, it comes with educational opportunities for young families. But it also comes with preserved home values and faster resale rates when you’re looking to upgrade your home.

Separate Your Needs From Your Wants

When you’re looking for a home, you’ll have plenty of wants and wishes. Understand that catering to your needs should come first. These are your “must-haves” and you cannot purchase a house without them. Anything else that you may want should be considered a bonus.

Create a House Hunting Checklist

Creating a house hunting checklist is one of the most methodical ways to buy a house. Create a checklist of every aspect of a home, and make sure that the homes you’re reviewing meet your standards. Some of the checklist items should include amenities, design, layout, and home inspection reports.

Ask Questions When Buying a House

Be prepared to ask sellers a number of questions. Some of the most important questions you should be asking are:

  • When were the appliances and systems updated?
  • Why are you selling the home?
  • How are the neighbors?
  • What is it like during extreme weather conditions (winter, summer, storms)?
  • What problems have you had with the house?
  • What do you love most about the house?

Place a Smart Offer in a Timely Manner

The housing market is hot. Homes are selling at a record pace. However, that doesn’t mean you should jump the gun. It means that you should be aware of the need to make an offer. Once all reports come back and if you’re ready to purchase, don’t hesitate!

Explore RateCloud’s Digital Morgage Options

Finding your dream home can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Be sure to have your house hunting checklist ready, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your real estate agent and the seller should be happy to answer them for you. When you’re ready to secure financing, be sure to check out some of the digital mortgage options offered by Ratecloud. Happy house hunting!