Searching for your new home can be an exciting and fun process, but at the same time, it can be a little stressful. According to the National Association of REALTORS®️, home buyers spend 10 weeks searching for a new home and they see an average of 10 homes before buying the one. Narrowing that down to one house per week might not seem like a lot, but remembering all the details of every home you’ve visited can be challenging.
Taking good notes can keep you organized and simplify your search. Learn what you should be writing down to help you remember why you liked — or didn’t like — that house.
Check with Your Agent
Communicate with your agent about what you’re looking for in a home so you both can keep track of whether or not each home has those features. It may seem redundant to have both of you writing things down, but having duplicates can actually help you catch things you missed or things you haven’t yet thought of for a home.
First Impressions Matter
Don’t think too hard about this one. When you walk into the home, what do you instantly feel? This might be a feeling you subconsciously make an effort to pay attention to, but like we mentioned before, it can be hard to remember every single first impression. It might sound corny, but you may get a special feeling when you find your home. Really dig into that feeling, and make note of one thing you absolutely loved and one thing that bugged you—even if it’s just a little bit.
Rate Your Homes
When it comes to your dream home, you’ll probably have a list of things you’re looking for in a home. But, as your real estate agent might tell you, sometimes all of those things might not come at the price point you’re looking for, or you might have to add some yourself.
As you tour homes, rate each from 1 to10 with 10 meaning they have what you’re looking for or meaning even better than you expected. For example, if you are looking for a three bedroom, then you would rate any home you tour with three bedrooms as an 8, while a four-bedroom home would be rated a 10. Look at the highest score at the end. You want to look for balance, not perfection.
Take Your Own Pictures
There may be photos online, but sometimes listing photos can lie just a little bit. A room may look big, but in reality it’s actually much smaller than anticipated. Any time something stands out to you, whether good or bad, take a picture.
Do You Need Renovations?
As you tour and realize some things may be outdated, make note of those things you’ll want to change. When you get home, calculate the approximate costs for those renovations. Add that to a list of “musts” to pay after move-in, which typically includes paint or new furniture. For example, if it comes down to two homes where one has a pool and the other doesn’t, compare list pricing and what it could potentially cost you down the line to put one in. Those costs could make or break a decision.
Looking for a little guidance on keeping track of each home? Download our HomeBuyer Property Checklist for an easy way to keep track of every home you visit.