6 THINGS TO DO BEFORE HOUSE HUNTING
1. KNOW YOUR CREDIT SCORE
First things first: don’t go house shopping without getting a mortgage pre-qualification. Have you found a house online you’re just dying to see? Don’t pull into the driveway until you’ve talked to a mortgage broker first.
There’s nothing worse than putting in an offer on your dream home, only to find out you don’t actually qualify to purchase it. That’s unnecessary frustration not only for you, but for the sellers and realtors as well.
3. MAKE A LIST OF NEEDS, MUST-HAVES, AND WANTS
You may end up seeing so many properties your head will be left spinning. You might forget some of the things you were looking for in the first place.
Before you look at any houses, make a list of your needs, must-haves, and wants. This way, if you get overwhelmed after seeing too many homes, you can simply refer back to your list and remember what it is you’re looking for.
4. CHOOSE YOUR LOCATION
It’s going to be really hard for your realtor to show you the best housing options for you if you don’t know the area you want to reside in. You’ll end up all over the place if you don’t.
If you aren’t sure about your specific location, spend some time in the areas you’re interested in at different times of the day to get a feel for the area. Good times to visit are rush hour times and nighttime.
5. SAVE AN EMERGENCY FUND
If you don’t have an emergency fund saved yet, buying a house isn’t a wise option.
Houses mean constant maintenance, even if you buy new. You don’t want to be caught without heat in the dead of winter just because you can’t afford to fix your furnace.
You also don’t want to be forced to pay for it on a credit card when you realize you really can’t live without heat.
6. CHECK YOUR EMOTIONS AT THE DOOR
Buying a house is an emotional process, but do your best to keep your emotions out of it before you make a hasty and unwise decision about a house that’s financially out of your reach.
Buying a house is a business transaction, so play it cool and keep your emotions in check. You’ll be thanking yourself later.