The housing market is upside-down. And it keeps getting more difficult to find your dream home. Especially for the right price. With these next eight tips, hopefully, your journey will become a lot easier.
1. Map out your wishes
What is it you want? If you start your search nilly-willy, you will waste valuable time eventually. So make sure you have a clear image in mind of the house you want. Think about these things as an example:
- The number of rooms (and the type of rooms/the size of each room)
- Balcony/Garden/Roof Terrace
- How much light do you want
- The floor (ground floor or higher?)
- Location (The neighborhood, near a school, work, shops, and other resources)
- Parking options
- How well can it be reached by car or public transport?
- Year of origin (also related to isolation and noise)
- Finishing (is there work to be done or can you just move in?)
- Wishes concerning bathroom and kitchen
It might be convenient to prioritize; not everything is equally important. And most houses don’t offer everything you want. So place an asterisk behind every wish that’s extra important.
2. Decide what your budget is
What’s your maximum budget? Is there still room to renovate? Besides the maximum amount you can spend to buy a house, it’s good to base that amount on the money you can and want to spend each month. Those monthly costs are:
- Mortgage repayment
- Municipal tax such as property tax
- Gas, water, and electricity
- Internet, TV, telephone
- Insurance such as contents, home, en liability insurance
Did you list everything above? Then you know what your net costs will be. Realize that most costs will actually still add up on top of that.
Stay true to that limit. While searching for houses, it’s always tempting to go above your stated limit. Because you will always see that the houses above your limit are just a tad more attracting than those just within your limit. But don’t tempt yourself to spend, or loan, more than you can handle.
On the other hand, don’t keep staring at the asking price. This works both ways; in some cases, you will have to offer slightly more than the asking price to make a real chance of it getting accepted. In other cases, there will be some wiggle room to negotiate.
Concluding, it can come in handy to check if these prices are overlapping with your wishes from tip 1 now you decided your maximum price to spend. Make a first search on well-known housing sites to see what they offer you. Perhaps you discover it’s a good idea to adjust your wishes (up or down) accordingly
3. Housing sites, realtors, and media
First of, the more familiar housing sites:
But there’s also:
Using Google for a bit shows even more results.
Extra tip: Many sites have an option to leave a search assignment. This way, you don’t have to keep filling in your search forms. Besides that, you often get the option to receive new offers in your e-mail daily or weekly.
Real estate agents also offer their houses directly. These houses aren’t always on other websites. This is why it could come in handy to list some realtors active within the region where you want to find something and to keep eyes on their sites.
Extra tip: Maybe you wouldn’t think so, but also newspapers (online and offline) still do adverts concerning buyable houses. If you by any chance have a newspaper membership, also keep the enclosures listing homes in your mind.
4. Social media
Don’t forget to tell all your friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances that you are looking for something and what you are looking for. Of course, you can do this in real life, but social media gives you the opportunity to reach a lot of people in little time. Besides, people can share your post and reach even more people (that you don’t know) like this.
Not every social media channel is equally logical. LinkedIn as an example doesn’t have much use for such messages compared to Facebook. In general, the more fun and image-rich you make your post (appealing), the more people pay attention to it.
Extra tip: social media sites are starting to behave more like search engines. So it can also be worth it to search around yourself on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Because people who sell their place also increasingly use social media. Search using hashtags, look for relevant accounts and groups, follow realtors, etc.
5. Routine your methods
Those with stamina perservere, you already knew that. But to keep going alone isn’t enough, also look a lot and look often. Turn it into a routine. As an example, every morning an hour before work, and every evening for an hour after dinner. Just imagine that you search every day, but missed your dream house that one day you didn’t feel like it.
Extra tip: Place it in your agenda or list of things to do when needed. Just as long till it becomes part of your routine and you don’t forget to act upon it for a single day.
6. Make sure it stays clear
When looking for a home you will quickly find yourself lost between favorite houses. Where did you find that one corner house? And where did the one just outside the center with a lot of space go? Make sure you are organized
Using bookmarks is an easy way to make a list. Make a new file and place it in your bookmarked stuff. Then place every house-concerning bookmark in that file.
Do you also want to fill in some properties for those houses? Use Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheets. This way you don’t just have it neatly summarized, but you also instantly see which was the most important aspect of each house.
Extra tip: Not a fan of bookmarks or spreadsheets? Then use the app Pocket, a handy method to save pages with just one click. You can also instantly tag the pages, making searching for them once again a lot easier. Putting the app on your phone as well gives you instant access to all of your favorite houses or pages.
7. Plan a viewing instantly
Make sure you are the first. Especially now, houses are sold in barely any time at all. Thinking about a week before you try to arrange a viewing is a no-go because of this. So instantly plan something with the realtor of the house that caught your eye. Try to be flexible doing so; the faster, the better. A second round of viewing properties is something rare in today’s market.
8. Hire a purchasing realtor
A house is probably the largest and most important purchase of your life. You definitely don’t want to make a mistake here. In addition, buying a house involves a lot of emotions. A real estate purchasing agent can help to make this emotional decision rational by extensively mapping out the dangers and potential of the house. In our case, for example, we make a structural inspection and process it in a so-called ‘purchase appraisal’. This valuation is aimed at mapping the current market value, the important renovating costs and the value after possible remodeling or solving of the defects. For more information about this and other services take a look at our happines page, this is not called this for nothing 😉