With so many options available this year, narrowing down your choices can often be a challenge. Once you've decided on your basic needs and wants (like size, number of bedrooms, bathrooms,...), you may have hundreds of options. I've found that it becomes much easier if you then focus on these 4 criteria:
- Neighborhood. Tour a few with your agent and decide which ones you like the best. You can change most things about a house, but you can't change the location or the neighbors.
- On-line photos and description. Go on-line at look at homes in the neighbors you like. Use the link on the right side of this page and shop in your pajamas. Narrow your choices by size, number of bedrooms, etc.
- Figure out what you can afford. Talk with a mortgage broker and get pre-approved. It's quick and easy and will save you time on down the road. Then your agent can help determine which homes that you like are priced right, which ones have some flexibility in their price and which ones you should steer clear of because they are overpriced.
- Tour the properties. Make appointments a day in advance and visit several properties that you've identified. Ask your agent to include a couple of additional homes they think would be a good fit for you as well. If you can't get an appointment to view the property, then you may want to rethink the owner's motivation to really sell.