Crossroads Finder Network

How to find a house


Finding the right home can be like appraising art. You’re not sure what it is, it just seems to resonate with you.

A prospective buyer will look through scores of home and, almost out of the blue, connect with a home. It just feels right. Regardless of the feel of a home, there are a handful of things any buyer needs to remember. Never let your emotions run away from you. Be practical, even if you’re sure it’s the house.

The price of a home is the most important factor to consider. Is the monthly mortgage payment within your personal ballpark? Does it make you a little uncomfortable? Can you afford the down payment? What about remodeling costs, if there are any?

Take a close look at the condition of the home. Is it the so-called fixer-upper? Are you prepared to purchase a fixer-upper and take on the associated costs? Closely look at major expenses, such as the roof, the plumbing, heating and cooling systems, to make sure you won’t have a major expense that you either don’t want or don’t need.

After that, make sure the home’s configuration works for you. Does it have the right combination of bedrooms and bathrooms? Are the other amenities you want included? It is wise to make up a list of features you have to have, features you would like to have and features you could take or leave in the home you want. Think about things such as cabinet space and closet space.

Consider the comfort level as well. This involves heating and cooling systems as well as the windows. If it’s a two-story home, are you ready to climb stairs every day? What about guests you might have who don’t want to climb stairs? Will the house accommodate them? Does it have adequate heating and cooling systems?

You should also consider the style of the home and the home’s resale potential. This can be a critical area. On average, people move to a new home every seven years. Are you moving into a home that, if you so chose, would be appealing to a buyer? Don’t fall into the trap of thinking about how the home fits your lifestyle today. Think about how it will suit you five years from now. Will you need a larger home? Will your income increase significantly enough that you might want to buy more home now, giving you room to grow?

While looking for a house, it’s recommended that you take notes at every home you see. This will reduce confusion later and help keep your thoughts organized as you move through the selection process.

There is one other recommendation from real estate agents -- when you find the right home, promise act promptly. Agents can tell many tales of people who found the home of their dreams, decided to sleep on the decision and then lost it because someone else made an offer that night.

Some things to look at in each home you view:
  • Roof
  • Electrical wiring
  • Plumbing
  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Living areas
  • Closets
  • Cabinet space
  • Countertop space
  • Garage
  • Heating, cooling systems
  • Windows
  • Stairs (if two-story house)
Factors to consider while house-hunting:
  • Location (distance from work, schools, type neighborhood, etc.)
  • Put together a wish list (start by thinking about the things that appeal and don’t appeal to you about your current home)
  • Wear comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes
  • Be prepared to make an offer
  • Promise to act decisively
Sources for these stories include: Coldwellbanker.com, Moving.com, Federal Citizen Information Center Home Page, Realtor.com, Homestore.com, homebuilder.com, forsalebyowner.com, San Diego Association of Realtors, Monstermoving.com, Interest.com, Century21.com and Amsouth.com.