Finding a home that meets the items on your wish list—and falls within your budget—can seem impossible. Try using these four tips to ease your worries as you set out to find the perfect digs:
1. Explore online listings
You may be anxious to see houses in the flesh, but starting your hunt online can help narrow down your search and ultimately save you time and energy. Websites such as Zillow, Trulia and Redfin post listings, offer virtual tours and allow you to customize your home searches.
2. Find a qualified real estate agent
An online listing may catch your eye, but you may want a real estate agent to help you navigate the negotiating and buying process. Check in with family and friends for referrals—the experiences of past clients can be a good indication of the type and quality of service you can expect.
3. Make the most of open houses
A home is a big investment, so open houses are not to be taken lightly. Look out for any potential red flags, such as unfinished or sloppy projects, and be sure to check in the cabinets and closets, two areas most homebuyers forget to scan. Don’t forget to chat with a neighbor on your way out to get a sense of the community and its residents.
4. Know when to move on
Not every property you look at is going to be a perfect fit, and not every seemingly perfect home will fit your budget. If you walk away from a home that is close to your ideal, see if there are other models in the neighborhood, or search for homes from the same builder to find similar features and amenities.