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What Should I Look For When House Hunting?

Dan Miller3-Minute Read
February 10, 2020

Buying a home can be one of the biggest investments that you make, so some people can start to feel overwhelmed when they’re house hunting. And because buying a house is something that most people don’t do very often, it can be hard to know exactly what types of things to add to your house hunting checklist, especially if you are buying a house for the first time. Here are a few things that you might want to keep in mind when you are house hunting.

What To Look For When Buying A House

House hunting can be an exciting time, but also an emotional time. Although it’s an important investment, buying a new house also changes where you are going to live (of course!) and spend the majority of your time. Because of that, it can also be hard to separate your emotions when buying a house. It can be very easy to find that “perfect” house and try to rationalize away some of the more logical reasons why it might not be the best fit for you and your situation. For additional information, check out our list of do’s and dont’s when buying a home.

When Should You Start House Hunting?

Although house hunting is an exciting time, if you’re wondering when you should start, there are a few things that you’ll want to take care of first. You can check out our complete guide to getting ready to buy your first house for some ideas.

You’ll want to make sure that you have a good amount of money saved before you start house hunting. An FHA Loan is one example of a program available for first-time home buyers, but there are also other loan programs that can help minimize the amount you need for a down payment. There are a couple of reasons you want to make sure you have more saved than just the minimum needed. You’ll also want to have enough money to cover additional fees for closing costs, escrow or proof of funds for your first few mortgage payments. Also, if you’re putting less than 20% down, you may be required to pay private mortgage insurance.

You’ll also want to make sure you’ve established good credit (this can help lower your mortgage interest rate), set a budget for yourself and figured out how much home you can afford. Once you have an idea for the price range you’re looking for, you’ll want to get preapproved for a mortgage loan. Being preapproved for a loan isn’t a requirement to buy a house, but it can help let sellers know that you’re serious and able to purchase their home. You want to take care of that BEFORE you put in an offer – you don’t want to have to spend time getting a preapproval letter only to find that another buyer has swooped in at the last minute!

How Do You Know You Found The Right House?

Once you have a range for your home purchase, you’ll start looking at different houses. Because of the extra fees and costs that come with buying a home, you’ll probably want to focus on houses that aren’t at the very top of your price range. Stick in the middle of your price range and be patient.

In most cases, there will not be any sort of angelic manifestation that this house is “the one.” Instead, look for one that checks off all of the “must-haves” from your house hunting checklist and as many of the “nice-to-haves” as possible. House hunting can be an emotional time, but you’ll come out ahead if you can try to control your emotions as much as possible and make this into a more logical and rational decision.

If you’re ready to start your home search, Rocket Homes Real Estate LLC is here to help you find your next house.

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    Dan Miller

    Dan Miller is a freelance writer and founder of PointsWithACrew.com, a site that helps families to travel for free / cheap. His home base is in Cincinnati, but he tries to travel the world as much as possible with his wife and 6 kids.