Finding your dream home in today's market
Home-hunting can be a deeply frustrating experience if you approach the challenge without a plan.
As America confronts a shortage of homes for sale with sellers waiting out the recent spate of mortgage cost rises, you've got to be on your game as a buyer.
Finding the right property, negotiating successfully or being able to pick yourself back up when you miss out has never been more important.
These tried-and-tested methods have enabled buyers to find their dream homes in the toughest markets.
The first rule is to conserve your energy. Be selective about the properties you wish to view. You'll exhaust yourself if you try to walk through every house, apartment, duplex or condo that catches your eye.
Before committing yourself to spending time inspecting an apartment or house, do a quick drive-by. Check out the exterior and get a first impression of the general maintenance of the property.
Then, take a spin around the neighborhood to see if this is the type of area for you. Avoid wasting time making an inspection to then decide you don't like the area. Do it the other way around.
Admittedly, this is a tough goal to set, especially as we're seeing fewer properties on the market than usual, a situation that's bound to change in the next few months. However, try to limit yourself to eight to 10 properties. So, choose carefully.
Selecting the homes to walk through will be easier if you have a clear idea of what you want. The attitude, “I'll know it when I see it”, is fine but it will take up your time. Only inspect a property if you like the price, location, condition and floorplan.