Updated: Jun 22, 2020
There are a plethora of homes on the multiple listing service (MLS) to search through so it is important to first establish your top priorities to help narrow down your home search. From there touring homes can help ensure that your are on the way to finding your perfect home.
How To Narrow Down Your Home Search
Establish a budget
It is important to first get preapproved to start your house search as there is no reason to view homes that are over your budget. If you can't qualify for a home it is only a waste of time for everybody involved and could lead to any cheaper homes seeming like they aren't enough.
Location, Location, Location
It is extreamly important to identify a location area that you would like to live. This can sometimes be established by your drive to work, neighborhoods in your price range, or if you enjoy the vibrant downtown or a more relaxed suburban neighborhood.
Beds and baths
It is important to know the minimum number of bedrooms and bathrooms that you need. Do you want a guest bedroom? Should the master bathroom be connected to the bedroom? It is important to establish this as a home too large could lead to additional utility bills, cleaning and larger mortgage.
If you have children it is will be important to find a home in a good school district. Nothing can be more important than investing in your children's future.
With the hail that can appear in Colorado, it can be important to have a garage. Note if this is a must have or a want and how many spaces there should be. Garages can always be built afterwords for only around $20,000 so it can always be made later if everything else about the home is perfect.
What To Look For When Viewing A Home
The viewing process is an important step forward to finding your perfect home. It is important to find something that you like and as a first time home buyer it's important not to overlook certain things.
It is important to have a good floor plan as this is something that you likely will not be able to renovate in the future. Check to ensure that your bedroom is separated from the busy living room. It is also important to imagine it fully occupied so if you like to have guests over or have a few children, imagine everyone piled into the kitchen to ensure it fits what you need.
Ignore the bad paint job
It is easy to look at that hideous paint job or aging appliances in the kitchen. These are things that are easy to upgrade. It is important to focus on the foundation and studs of the building as no home will be perfect upon move in and that is the fun of designing your very own space!
walk the neighborhood
It is important to walk the neighborhood and even talk to some of the neighbors nearby. The neighbors will usually give you some great advise on the pros and cons of the area. It is also important to visit at all times of the day as it might seem casual in the afternoon but become a bustling noisy street during rush hour.
Check for nearby water
As global warming increases chaotic weather, it is important to make note of any nearby ponds or rivers. These can flood causing major issues or high insurance prices in the future. Remember that your normal home insurance does not cover floods and you will need to purchase flood insurance separately.
Explore the bathrooms
Bathrooms issues can easy cause issues. It is important to explore the bathrooms and if the water is on, flush the toilet, turn on the faucets and look carefully
Mind the cracks
Noticing a crack in a foundation or brick wall means that there was movement. Although it isn't necessarily a guaranteed deal killer, know that you will want to hire a structural engineer to look at it during the inspection process.
Look for new paint
If the house is outdated and there is a patch of new paint on the ceiling or a spot on the wall the seller may be trying to cover something up. This is important to note as
inspect the roof
It is important to see how the roof is doing. Roofs can cause an average of $10,000 in the Denver metro area so it's important to give it a quick glance while touring.. See if the shingles are curled, broken or missing shingles or if it is covered in moss.
Check the HVAC
The heating, ventilation and cooling system (HVAC) is very important to check as an outdated one can run inefficiently and run up utility bills quickly.
go grocery shopping
It is important to check where the nearby amenities are for the home. See the distance to get to areas you visit frequently such as work, grocery stores, department stores and more.
How do you know when you find the right house?
You will know when you have found the right house when you enter the home and it embraces you. Immediately you feel at home, can see yourself hosting dinner parties or wrenching in the garage. You might even become defensive about the home if someone such as your real estate agent points out a minor flaw. The right home should also fall within your budgetary range so that it doesn't create financial stress for you in the future. If all of these hit the box, it might be worth making an offer to ensure that this home is yours! From there you can start to brag about it, plan out the furniture and making it your dream home!
Is it a good time to buy a house 2020?
It is impossible to tell if home prices will go up or down but now is a great time for interest rates which can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the course of home ownership. Due to the recent events however lenders are avoiding riskier loans. This means that home buyers are expected to have a higher down payment and higher credit score to take advantage of these rates. It is best to establish if this is a good time for you the individual to purchase a home. This includes if rent higher than a mortgage or if you want to be able to make improvements to a home to truly make it yours?
How many times should you see a house before you buy?
It is usually recommended to see a house twice to ensure that you love it before buying. The second time around it can also be important to bring a new set of eyes with you as well such as a close friend or relative so that you can have a second opinion to bounce ideas off of.
How long does it take to buy a house?
The search process for a home generally takes a few weeks to a month for most buyers to find their perfect Colorado home. However each buyer is different, the list above helps narrow down the search to help optimize the process. Once a contract is accepted it will generally take 30-45 days until closing depending on if there are any issues with financing or inspection.
There are lots of things to check while viewing a home. Just another reason to have the best real estate agent in Denver helping you every step of the way!