Home-hunt­ing tips for right choice

Lesotho Times - - Property -

in the hunt for the per­fect house, it’s easy to get swept away by a home’s most charm­ing de­tails (a gra­cious front porch) and play down the im­por­tant stuff you’ll be kick­ing your­self for later (the price is over bud­get). And if you are tour­ing mul­ti­ple open houses each week­end, keep­ing ev­ery­thing straight can get com­pli­cated.

Set your pri­or­i­ties and stream­line the house-hunt­ing process early on, and you can breathe eas­ier know­ing you have a han­dle on things. it’s prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant pur­chase you will ever make, so take a few deep breaths and make a plan be­fore div­ing in — you’ll be glad you did.

Th­ese 12 tips can help you stay or­ga­nized and fo­cused on the im­por­tant things dur­ing your house hunt.

1. Set your pri­or­i­ties. Be­fore tak­ing a look at any houses, sit down and write out ev­ery­thing you want in a home, with in­put from all mem­bers of the house­hold. Then choose your top five, or even top three, must-haves.

once you start look­ing, all sorts of charm­ing fea­tures are bound to sway you; keep­ing your pri­or­i­ties list close at hand can help you stay on track.

2. Make a com­par­i­son chart. Af­ter you have seen a dozen or more houses, it be­comes very dif­fi­cult to keep track of the fea­tures in each one.

Make things a lit­tle eas­ier by cre­at­ing your own com­par­i­son chart or check­list to bring along to each home, and make notes on it dur­ing or im­me­di­ately af­ter each tour.

Be­yond the ba­sics (beds and baths) con­sider in­clud­ing notes on land­scap­ing, the con­di­tion of the roof and ex­te­rior, nat­u­ral light in each room, stor­age space and cost per square foot. Con­sider this chart a per­sonal tool — some­thing you can look back on to help guide your de­ci­sion mak­ing, not a sub­sti­tute for a good home in­spec­tion.

3. Walk through once and let your­self soak it all in. When you tour a home for the first time, the ex­cite­ment can make it dif­fi­cult to fo­cus on ... well, any­thing at all. So i say, just go with it. Have fun, wan­der around and men­tally note your first im­pres­sions of the space. Once the but­ter­flies have died down,

it’s time to get to work.

4. Then go back to the be­gin­ning and start again. Walk back to the front of the house and lit­er­ally be­gin your tour again. This time, pull out your clip­board and pen, take your time and ap­proach the home as if you were an in­spec­tor rather then a po­ten­tial buyer.

5. Bring fur­ni­ture mea­sure­ments. Jump­ing the gun? Maybe. A deal breaker? Prob­a­bly not. But if ev­ery room in the house presents prob­lems with your cur­rent fur­ni­ture sit­u­a­tion, you could ef­fec­tively be adding thou­sands of dol­lars to the price if you have to pur­chase new fur­ni­ture — some­thing that is prob­a­bly bet­ter to know sooner rather than later.

6. Sketch a floor plan. You do not need to have any real draw­ing skills to make a su­per­ba­sic floor plan on pa­per, and hav­ing it to re­fer to later is price­less. Just do your best. Start­ing at the front door, draw boxes for rooms and mark doors, win­dows, stair­ways and open­ings roughly where they are.

7. Ask to take pho­tos (or even a video). it’s amaz­ing how quickly mem­ory fades. Make sure you have backup by cre­at­ing a floor plan and tak­ing pho­tos or a short video tour if pos­si­ble — it will re­ally give you a full pic­ture of what the house looks like. Be sure to ask the Realtor for per­mis­sion be­fore tak­ing any pho­tos or video. And even then, it is as­sumed that they are for per­sonal use, so don’t post them to your Face­book page or blog ... at least not un­til you own the house.

8. Open the clos­ets and cup­boards. Proper stor­age is a re­ally im­por­tant fac­tor in how a home looks and feels when you are liv­ing in it. note the num­ber and size of cup­boards and clos­ets through­out the house, and don’t be afraid to peek in­side. if the cur­rent home­owner has them packed to the gills, that may be a sign that the house doesn’t have enough stor­age for its size.

9. Take a mo­ment to en­vi­sion how you would use the space. Just be­cause the cur­rent owner (or stag­ing com­pany) has the se­cond bed­room set up for guests doesn’t mean you can’t use it as an of­fice, a home gym or a nurs­ery. Paint col­ors, fur­ni­ture ar­range­ments and win­dow treat­ments can also all be swapped out, so use your imag­i­na­tion and re­ally put your­self in the home.

10. Check out the prop­erty at dif­fer­ent times of day. if you do come back for a se­cond show­ing, make it dur­ing a dif­fer­ent time of day from the open house or first tour. In the evening, no­tice not only the changes in light, but the at­mos­phere in the neigh­bor­hood. Are peo­ple out sit­ting on porches? Are kids play­ing out­side? is it noisy? You are bound to learn and dis­cover dif­fer­ent things about the house each time. — Houzz

HOUSE-HUNT­ING is al­ways tricky as a re­sult of charm­ing de­tails of dif­fer­ent homes.

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