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5 Organizational Skills Needed for House Hunting

Looking for a house can turn into a chaotic mess if you do not find a method to keep yourself organized. It is hard trying to keep the different homes you view straight, with all of the variety of styles and features. But in order to be able to make a good decision on which home you should buy, you need to be able to differentiate between the homes.

Here are 5 organizational skills needed for house hunting:

  1. Make a priority list.

    You need to be able to separate the things you need with the things you want. Without being able to separate these two lists, you will have trouble making decisions on homes. Then the two lists need to be prioritized by importance. Have the components of a home that you are not willing to live without on the top all the way down to an item you would enjoy having in a home but could be easily dispensed of. Critical information to have on a list includes: the maximum price you are willing to pay, how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want, what type and size of yard you desire, and what type of home you are looking for. Extra information to consider are in regards to specific features: what you want the bathroom, kitchen, and bathrooms to look like and contain of if you need a garage, or pool, or walk-in closet.

  2. Determine the travel time.

    There are certain places you won’t be able to stop going to: your work or maybe your child’s school. Then, there are the places you will potentially change: your family’s favorite restaurant, the gym you go to, or the park your children play at. Determine which of these places you are not willing to change. Then decide how far you are willing to drive to go to those places. Remember, once you buy a house, the distance you have to travel is going to be permanent. But right now, you have the opportunity to determine how far you will have to commute.

  3. Have a system to document.

    Once you have your priority list completed and have an idea of how far you are willing to drive, create a method to document what each home has. Some people make a checklist that they can print out before going to each home, others like having a notebook where they take notes. This document, no matter the format, is going to be used to help you compare and contrast each home. Have the home’s address on the top, as that is how your realtor is going to know which home you are talking about.

  4. Go visit homes.

    This is the exciting, yet sometimes draining aspect of home searching. Depending on how narrow of an area you are looking at to buy or rent a home, you could have dozens or only a couple available. The priority list is going to help you know which homes are even going to be worth your time. Don’t go to a home that does not have a “need” that is very high on your importance list. As you go to the homes, write down its features. Take pictures of anything you want to be able to remember. Include some emotional responses, whether negative or positive. A house that instantly makes you feel welcomed and at home is a detail worth remembering. Don’t discount a home because it has a few areas that need fixing. If the aspects that need fixing are fixable at a low and easy cost, the home is still worth it. But, if the problems are permanent or are going to be very expensive changes then you need to really consider whether the home is worth the expense. Homes with structural damages are hard to fix.

  5. Review and revisit.

    After you have looked at several homes, go back through your notes and pictures. Some homes are going to draw your attention more than others. If you had a single home that stole your heart right away, great! The work is done! However, if there are multiple homes that intrigue you, consider revisiting them. With a smaller list of homes to visit, there are things that may catch your eye the second time around that you missed the first time.

Ultimately, the final decision of a home is up to you. No spreadsheet, advice, or notes are going to be able to tell you which home is the best fit for you and your family. Remember that you are not only committing to that house, but to that neighborhood and location as well. Keep looking if you are not satisfied with any that you have looked at. These organizational skills are going to help you keep focused as you look for and determine the best house!

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