10 Steps in Buying a Home – STEP 4: Preview Homes
Congratulations! You are now ready to get in your Realtors car and start down that path of finding your next perfect home! You’ve made it through the pre-approval process which is a difficult step and now you will be rewarded with a customized tour of homes that match your budget and hearts desires.
Buying a home is a process and that process is as unique as you are so first step is to disregard any pre-conceived ideas about the home previewing process will go down. I have worked with clients who searched for two years to define and refine their criteria and others who looked at 3 homes and purchased one. There is no one way to go about finding the home that is right for you.
It’s beneficial to know what you want, don’t want and need. What cities you will consider, type of neighborhood you want, view vs. no view, schools, community, etc. With that said, it’s also helpful if you can remain somewhat flexible. Did I just contradict myself? Be open to finding the right house for you and don’t focus too much on the things you can change. Remaining flexible could shorten your timeframe quite a bit.
What Features Are Truly Important in Buying A Home
The saying, Location, Location, Location could not be more true. There are two things you cannot change when Buying a home. The location and size of the lot. You find the perfect home but you hate the kitchen cabinets. Or maybe they have carpet but you really wanted hardwood. These details should not sway you from a home that is exactly the perfect distance from your kid’s school or has that coveted southern exposure and large flat yard.
Exercise: List the top 5 things you want in your first home. Keep in mind you will likely get 3 of them, especially if you are buying with a spouse or significant other and their top 5 are different.
Some buyers know exactly what they want and are aligned with their partner and others aren’t quite there. There is a reason it’s called, “First Time Home Buyer”. Anything you do for the first time has a learning curve and this process is no different. You may not realize you want an eat-in-kitchen or laundry room inside your house until you experience it first hand. After looking at houses online for months, you will find getting inside the homes, experiencing the layout and neighborhood is very powerful.
Let’s Get in Your Car
The first tour with your Realtor is a crucial step for you both. Your Realtor will learn a lot from your comments and reactions and store those away to use later. You will learn more about what is important to you and what you can live without. Those needs and wants you started with may shift and change over the course of your process. The features you thought you could not live with out might be the easiest to let go of when that perfect house presents itself.
Communicate with your Realtor regularly as your needs and wants change. Don’t hesitate to use your Realtor as a sounding board and talk through your thoughts and concerns. We are here to help you navigate the process, listen to your wants, needs and questions and then carefully guide you towards the best possible outcome – purchasing your first home!
Reminder of the 10 Steps in Buying a Home:
- Establish A Budget
- Engage Your Marin Modern/San Francisco Modern Realtor
- Obtain Loan Pre-Approval
- Preview Homes
- Make an Offer
- Negotiate towards ratification
- Inspection Contingency
- Appraisal/Loan Contingency
- Sign/Fund/Close or Record
- Collect the Keys and Enjoy!
Now you are ready for Step 5: Making an Offer