Congratulations on deciding to purchase a new home. This is a huge investment on your part, so you want to make sure that you do it right. There are a lot of property listings on the market, so it can be a bit overwhelming (and exciting, of course) when you aren't sure where you should begin your search. To help you sort through all of those listings so that you don't look at homes that are a waste of your time, here are a few tips:
Create a List of Wants and Needs
Prior to beginning an online search of property listings, you should sit down with your significant other and create a list of both wants and needs. For instance, do you prefer a certain type of neighborhood over another? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Are you looking for a home with luxury features like an in-ground swimming pool or a fireplace? With a list like this ready to go, you can omit the property listings that do not fit what you are looking for.
Only Search within Your Budget
You also need to determine your budget, if you haven't already done so. Before you begin your search, it is highly recommended that you talk to a mortgage lender and get pre-approved. This will ensure that you know exactly what you are able to afford. Plus, many sellers like to see that potential buyers have this pre-approval, and it may make the difference if you are in competition with another buyer for the home.
Look at all the Pictures
As you search through the online property listings, you will want to look at all of the pictures and you will want to pay close attention to all of them. Are they all of the exterior of the home? If so, this should raise a red flag, as it could be an indication that the interior is not very attractive. In cases like these, you will want to avoid these listings and move on to the next ones. You don't want to waste your time physically touring these properties.
If you are interested in purchasing a home, the aforementioned tips will help you sort through the listings to ensure that you find the right home that matches your wants and needs. You should also consider reaching out to a real estate agent in your area who can help match you with the perfect home based on your individual specifications.