- First, there is no perfect home – make a list of the pros and cons of each home you visit.
- Remember that walls can be painted
- From the 10-15 homes you typically see, pick your top 2
- Think about you wish list as well as what you want to avoid
- Take notes
- Take Photos
- Ask questions of your Realtor, the home owner, or the New Home Consultant
Select a community that will allow you to best live your daily life. Many people pick communities based on schools. Do you want access to shopping? When you find places you like find them who live there. More than anything you want a neighborhood where you feel comfortable.
NEW VERSUS OLD
Generally older homes may be in more established neighborhoods, offer more ambiance, and have lower property tax rates. People who buy older homes, however shouldn’t mind maintaining their home and making some repairs.
Newer homes tend to use more modern architecture and systems, are usually easier to maintain, and are more energy efficient. People who buy new homes do not have to worry initially about upkeep and repairs.
What Should I look for in walking through a home?
- Is there enough room for the present and future?
- Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms
- Is the house structurally sound?
- Do the mechanical systems and appliances work?
- Is the yard big enough?
- Do you like the floor plan?
- Will your furniture fit in the space? Is there enough storage space? (bring a tape measure)
- Does anything need to be repaired or replaced? Will the seller repair or replace the items?
- Imagine the house in good weather and bad, and in each season. Will you be happy with it year round?
What questions should you ask the NHC or realtor showing the house?
Many of your questions should focus on potential problems and maintenance issues. Making a list of questions ahead of time will help you organize your thoughts and arrange all of the information you receive. Ask questions until you understand all of the information you have been given. Be sure the NHC or real estate agents answers are clear and complete. Have them call you back with answers to questions they do not know.
You can do your own looking. Start with the internet. I would recommend going to USHUD.com, of course I might be biased. Some of the sites you might want to visit are.
1. USHUD.COM – Free foreclosure search of bank and government foreclosures. Thousands of foreclosed real estate properties priced below market prices.
2. HAR.COM . – This is the web-site of the Houston Real Estate Association. They have listed over 43,000 properties. HAR has links to many web sites, and consumer information on this page
Pick up Real Estate flyers at local grocery stores and convenience stores.
- The GREEN SHEET is an excellent source for finding homes
- The Houston Chronicle
- Houston Press
- Community newspapers such as Katy News
Drive around neighborhoods that interest you and write down addresses where there are for sale signs. Go to open houses.
Open houses –
Model homes – are used by Builders to showcase their homes. A New Home Consultant will be on hand to answer your questions, and sell homes. On their days off a Host or Hostess will man the model home. Usually the host or hostess is a temporary employee who will not be able to give you the information you need. Ask about inventory homes, these are homes which you can move into quickly.
HOMEBUYER CHECKLIST –
If possible take pictures of each house, the outside, the major rooms, the yard, and extra features that you like or ones that you see as potential problems. Be sure to communicate with your real estate agent about everything you are looking for. Looking at more than 2 homes can get confusing. You need to come up with a list of what is important to you and rate each home. An example would be square footage on a scale of 1 to 5. Five being the highest how did this home fit your needs. Make notes about the homes you visit. Carry a camera with you and take pictures of the outside and inside. I always take a picture of the street address marker so that I don’t get the homes I visit confused.
6. Building a Home.