House Hunting Tips | Housing and Apartments | Long Distance USA Movers

The Best House Hunting Tips to Know When Looking for Home

Finally ready to buy your own property, but not sure where to start? Take a look at our ultimate house hunting tips, learn how to avoid typical mistakes when choosing the new residence, what to look for when house hunting, and how to properly organize the whole process. Choosing your future home is of essential importance since this will be a gathering point for the whole family. So, aside from the fact it has to be of a particular size, it also has to be within the budget limits, safe neighborhood, and it has to have the potential to create a cozy atmosphere and pleasant space for everyone.

The exterior of the modern mansion
Choose the living space according to your needs, habits, and lifestyle

What Should I Look for When House Hunting? House Hunting Tips Checklist

Whether you move to a new city for a job, better business climate, relationship, or you have any other reasons to move, when it comes to the choice of your new residence, we are sure you’ll want to avoid all moving mistakes and organize your relocation seamlessly.

According to the National Association of Realtors Report, 43% of all research begins, as expected, online. However, 88% of people use the services of real estate agents that are here to ease the whole process and help you find what you are looking for. The typical homes that are usually purchased have 1,900 square feet, three bedrooms, and two bathrooms.

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The Size and the Type of the Residence

The size of the homes is exactly the starting point for defining your needs that will determine the type of realty you need. Depending on how many family members there are, you’ll desire a specific number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and in this case, the architectural aspects of the realty will be the most important to have in mind. Good structures that offer possibilities for adjusting it to your needs are actually the real value of the building you buy.

How Well Is the Residence Maintained

Another essential thing to consider is how well the home is maintained. If there are some critical issues to be fixed, such as roof construction or a poor electrical and plumbing system, you should definitely make the cost scheme and decide whether it is worth buying. In case that the realty has an exceptional location in the chosen area, then use this costing scheme to try to negotiate the price and cover the expenses of repairs you’ll have to perform.

A realtor is showing an apartment to a couple
Before you start to tour the houses ensure to create a house hunt checklist

How to House Hunt – How Should You Act When Viewing a House?

One of the best tips for house hunting is don’t fall for the looks of realty. The decoration doesn’t stay when you buy the residence, so try to avoid imagining yourself in that space. The secret is that people actually fall in love with the way space was designed, which prevents them from noticing some really important things such as architectural structure and understanding the realities of the space. What you really need is intelligently designed homes that will suit your needs.

When you start the tour through the residence, try to focus on how you feel in the space. Is it small, or it feels dark? Is there enough light, and what kind of sunshine is coming through because you’ll want to have a bright space that will look even larger? Do you hear the noise or birds chirping? Are all the rooms spacious enough?

The next crucial question to answer is what your needs are? Do you prefer a spacious living room with a big TV that will be a gathering point of your household, or you look for an open space concept with an island as the focal point? Do you need a larger dining room since you know there are always too many people in it? Do you need a bedroom for each family member, or kids can share the room? How you want to landscape the property – do you want to build a deck or prefer a more private patio? Answering these questions will help the buyer and the realtor to find the perfect residence faster and save time and money, especially for those people who are performing cross-country moving.

Tidy room with cozy furniture
Before you begin searching for the residence, define your needs

House Hunting Guide: How to Prepare for Buying?

The first step is starting with a lender that will provide you with information about how much you can afford for purchasing a new residence. You’ll be required to submit various documents and prove your income, so once you get the pre-approval, you’ll know what is the amount you can count on for spending on the property.

Once you fix all the paperwork and know your budget, it is the right time to start looking for your next perfect residence and a reliable real estate agent that will take you through the process and make it easier for you. Don’t forget to check a few agents before you choose a trustworthy one. Otherwise, you could be stuck in the buying process, and your perfect residence could be sold to other buyers. So, once you make the preliminary talk and present your wishes to the realtor, ensure the agent will send you offers and communicate with you regularly. This is the best indicator you found a professional that will stand up for your case.

How Long Should House Hunting Take?

According to the National Association of Realtors Report, the search for a perfect home averagely lasts eight weeks. In this period, potential buyers see on average 9 different properties.

However, when it comes to visiting a single residence, the first show usually takes no more than 20-30 minutes. If you want to take a closer look, then you should schedule a home inspection that lasts for a couple of hours. It is extra charged but also extremely important since it can reveal the details that will help you decide whether to buy that specific realty or not.

Take Notes Upon Each Realty You Visit

Let’s suppose you will visit nine houses (which is the average on the national level.) This means the chances to mix up the facts and forget some important information are huge. For that reason, the best solution is to take notes upon each realty you visit, so you could make comparisons and decide easier. Taking pictures is also acceptable and a great way to have everything documented.

Realtor is taking pictures of realty
In-detail preparations are a key when purchasing a new residence

What Questions to Ask When Buying Your First Home?

Buying your own residence is probably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. For that reason, you should create a list of questions that will help you decide which dwelling is the best match for you. Here is a list of questions that can indicate possible problematic situations and help you avoid them:

Why are the owners selling the property?

For all sellers, the most common reason for selling the realty is the desire to move closer to friends and family, because they desire bigger space, or due to a change in the family situation. However, if the reason is noise, high maintenance costs, or neighbors, you should consider whether this is the right choice for you.

What is included in the sale?

Are the previous owners leaving kitchen appliances or a garden shed? This is important to clarify before signing the contract, so you can know what to expect once you move in. This can also help you with your packing strategy for moving since this might mean you don’t have to move everything with you, so you can donate unwanted items or even organize a garage sale and fill your budget. This is also useful to know when making a checklist of things you need to rent an apartment.

How long have the owners lived in the residence?

This is important because it can indicate if there are any possible inconveniences with the building itself or neighbors. If they tell they spend the majority of their life there, then this is a good sign that the neighborhood and the dwelling itself were not causing any problems.

How long has the residence been on the market?

If you’d like to negotiate the price and put an offer, then you should know for how long the realty has been for sale.

What offers did they have so far?

With this piece of information, you’ll understand what is the demand for the specific residence and should you react quickly or you have some space for negotiations.

What is the minimum price that the seller will accept?

Some realtors might not be willing to answer this question. However, some of them will provide you with an answer since this could accelerate the sales.

Are there any serious issues you should be aware of?

Since this could affect your budget significantly, you should know such details and plan your budget accordingly. In case you should invest in roof or foundation renovations, it could seriously affect your budget, so make sure to ask your real estate agent. They are obliged by law to provide you with this information, so don’t hesitate to ask this question.

Have any major works been carried out on this building?

Answers to this question will indicate how the previous owners maintained the realty, what problems are fixed and what you should not put on your list of renovations.

When do sellers plan to move out of the residence?

This information is important to know because it will indicate the moment you can move into the residence and also when your relocation should take place. Once you acknowledge the date, you can start organizing your move, picking the cross-country moving company, and schedule all long-distance moving services and the needed packing services, too. Long-distance movers will support you and move you efficiently to your new address.

Additional Questions To Ask When Exploring the Homes

Need more ideas about what kind of questions to ask both the owner and real estate agent when buying your first residence? Check the video below and find out the ultimate expert tips on how to find out everything you should know.

Hidden Costs

When buying a property, people are usually focused only on listing the monthly costs, trying to estimate what will be the cost of maintaining the household on a yearly basis. But, aside from the taxes, monthly, and mortgage expenses, there are various hidden costs people usually forget to include into the moving expenses checklist, and which certainly come to charge.

Utility Bills

When relocating to a bigger space, you should be aware that all the costs will be higher since the square footage of the property will be larger. This means that the utility bills will be higher, as well as the whole maintenance outlays that will be on your account too. From maintenance of furnace filters, gutters, air conditioning, and lawns to taking care of locksets. Although they might not seem important enough to include in the cost scheme, you might be surprised how much they actually cost once they come to the payment. For that reason, when making a budget, ask for even the tiniest detail.

Transportation Costs

However, the greatest secret of the hidden costs is they could be unrelated to the residence and that you’ll still have to pay for them. One of them is transportation cost. When choosing a residence, people often opt for the suburbs since they can get a greater area at a lower price compared to the downtown properties. However, this means they’ll have to pay more for transportation expenses on a monthly basis, which can be quite high if they use a car. For that reason, before signing the contract, explore whether your city is among the cities with the best public transportation options.

Home Warranty

Another additional cost of a new realty is associated with a new home warranty that will protect the buyer from any problems that pop up in the next few years – depending on the conditions you agree and pay for. This warranty usually covers all issues with the foundation or the facade. Although this is optional, realtors highly recommend it because if you don’t have it and something happens, you will have to cover the full cost.

Home Inspections

According to HomeAdvisor.com, the average cost for a basic home inspection varies from $290 to $600, depending on the area you’d like to get a place. Although those costs are optional and many buyers try to avoid them or do the residence check by themselves, you should know that qualified and certified home inspectors can save you thousands of dollars. Professionally performed checks are especially desirable in case you’re moving to another state alone, and you’ll not be able to dedicate so much time to this issue.

Still, not all inspectors check the same things. So, when agreeing to an inspection, you should define what is included in the price and what is extra charged. Their report will contain all the potential problems with foundation, flooring, roof, plumbing or electrical system, appliances, fireplace, HVAC system, interior, and exterior generally. If you request, they can even check for the termites, asbestos, mold, or radon and give you a report on this, which is extra charged but extremely important to know before you buy the property and start with renovations.

person using a calculator
Don't forget to calculate the hidden costs

Explore the Area You’re Relocating To

In case you’re performing a cross-country moving and prefer to get an apartment out of state, your research will be even more complex since you’ll have to decide on the best location within a city you don’t know. This implies exploring all the details about that specific area, whether you’ll be moving to a cold climate, what advantages they offer for its citizens, a job market, public transportation options, and cultural peculiarities. All these details will support you in adjusting to a new town and your new lifestyle easier.

The needs differ from your family situation, so in case you plan to move with kids, don’t forget to explore the best cities in America to raise a family and all the schooling options. Or, if you plan to move with pets, this means you will definitely necessitate a realty with a backyard so they could also have appropriate places for them and you’ll not be obliged to go to everyday walks. However, when the weekend comes, you’ll want to get out of the garden. So, the proximity to the parks and other green areas will be essential, and for that reason, you should also explore what are the best outdoor towns so you could organize your free time.

In case you’re about to retire, we are sure you’d like to explore all the best beach towns to live in that are, at the same time, the best places for retirement. After your long-distance moving, you’ll finally be able to dedicate your time to hobbies, grandchildren, and everything you’ve always felt like you don’t have enough time to do.

person working on a laptop
Research the area you plan to relocate to

How Do You Survive House Hunting?

Now you’re introduced to all the details you should know before signing the contract, you might be asking yourself how you’ll survive this expedition. If you specify your needs, set realistic expectations matching your wishes and budget, and find a reliable real estate agent, there is no way this mission will be anything else besides successful.

Blake Shaw


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