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1. Make a list of “must haves”.

Write down the amenities you’re looking for. Be specific as to what you can’t do without; do you need a garage, how many bedrooms, how many baths, open floor plan, large kitchen, swimming pool, etc. Start with the right features and you can still put your own touches on it.


2. Know what you can afford and get pre-qualified.

Are you getting a loan or paying cash? Are you pre-qualified with a lender? What kind of house note can you comfortably afford? It’s very important to have your finances in order BEFORE looking for houses. If you find the perfect house and you’re not pre-qualified with a lender then you’re very unlikely to get the house. Owners and agents will be very hesitant to accept an offer from someone who can’t show how they intend to pay for it.


3. Are you willing to remodel?

It can be very difficult for some to see the “potential” in a less than perfect home. If you have the ability to do so, consider whether a home has the right key factors for you but just needs your personal touches to make it just right.


4. Location, Location, Location!

Location is always a critical component, if not the MOST important part of buying a new home. Be specific about the areas you want to live in, but also be realistic about the price of the homes in those areas. The most in-demand areas typically sell faster and are more expensive. Consider what is most important to you when looking for your home and be ready to move fast when the home you want gets listed.


5. Set the proper expectations.

Understand that it is very difficult to find the exact house you’re looking for. Everyone has different preferences and each home owner will make the house right for them. Make sure the house has your core “must haves” but be willing to do some work as well. Making it your own is just part of the joy of home ownership!


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