How to Shorten the House Hunting Process

How to Shorten the House Hunting Process
  • Opening Intro -

    You have been spending weekends over the past several months looking at houses and have yet to find one that you truly love.

    Some houses are renovation nightmares while others need home improvements you simply are not willing to undertake.

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At the rate things are going, the holiday season will be here and you will simply give up looking for a new home.

Fortunately, there are ways for you to identify the home that you want, make an offer and get yourself moved in before the Christmas decorations are hung. Rethinking your approach can help you find your next home.

Reconsider Your Show Stoppers

Granted, every home shopper has a must have list of home items. You may want three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a modern kitchen, a deck and a two-car garage. Your real estate agent has been directing you to homes that meet that criteria, but it also means that you may be passing up on some homes that offer much appeal despite falling short in one or more areas.

This is where you may want to revisit your list and see which items are most important and which ones are not. For instance, 1.5 baths may be all that you need. Or, if a home does not have a deck, you can have one built later. Work with your agent to expand your list accordingly.

Narrow Your List

Home shoppers are sometimes overwhelmed by the number of houses that they see. It can be difficult to compare multiple homes especially over several weeks. Those homes will include one or more that got away, houses that met your criteria, but you dithered on.

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Clearly, too much choice can be too confusing. Instead, focus on your preferred town or neighborhood and then choose a home from that area. If a certain home does not quite meet your criteria, but the neighborhood does you can always make changes to the home later. A small renovation may be the price for getting the home that you really want.

Unsolicited Advice

One of the toughest challenges for home shoppers is the advice, usually unsolicited, that many people offer. This can be particularly annoying if you are looking at homes that may need some work including a foreclosure or a short sell. You will hear horror tales of a home improvement project that went wrong or renovations that revealed even more problems.

Your best decision here is to stick to the advice offered by a few close people including your real estate agent. Your agent can alert you to potential problems, i.e, a short sell that may take months to complete, while your attorney can go to bat for you once the sales agreement has been offered.

Put it All in Perspective

Instead of allowing frustration to rule your home hunt, perhaps some perspective is warranted. If you started to look for a home last month, your home search really is not all that long. And even if your search began three to four months ago it may not be all that long especially if you are juggling other responsibilities.

This is where you want to have the perspective that manages expectations, understands the market and includes a timeline for finding a home. If you must move by a certain date, you may need to take some time off from work or set aside other responsibilities to give your home search your full and undivided attention. With life’s distractions placed to the side, you can find a home that if its doesn’t meet your dreams it comes darn close to it.

See Also — Neighborhood Choices and Home Shopping Essentials

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About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".