Maybe this post should be titled: 10 things I am LEARNING about house hunting, as I know I continue to learn more with each new step we take on this "hunt" for a new home. I truly thought house hunting would be fun. I did. Really. Maybe it was fun in the beginning what-with the idea of making a space genuinely your own. There were lot's of dreams. Lot's of them. And they still exist, only our perspective has changed immensely.
The first home we hoped to purchase, which we inspected, made plans for renovation, hired contractors, specialists, roofers, you name it, fell through at the very last minute. Just like that we held no claim over a home we had spent two months prepping, planning, thinking about and haunting it within our thoughts. We mourned for a few days about our loss. Three days later we cleared the drawing board (ie the kitchen table) and hashed out a new plan. Within the confines of our stale white painted rental walls we made a decision to keep hunting. So, that is what we are doing. Hunting
Just like any good hunt you need to be equipped with gear and knowledge in order to make the best out of your trip. In the process of looking we have become somewhat seasoned house hunters. Here are just a few tips we have picked up along the way.
- Learn the Lingo. REO Homes are bank-owned and are often associated with foreclosures (being in CA there are a lot of these), the term “short sale” does not necessarily pertain the to length of time it will take to make a sale on a home.
- Plan to see only 5 homes in one trip. I seemed to have a hard time keeping the homes straight if we looked at more than 5.
- Bring snacks, water, first aid kit on every home hunt (I can’t tell you how many times I was starving, thirsty or had cut my hand or got a splinter while viewing some of these homes)
- Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. You are going to be out and about for a long time. In and out of a car. Wear what you are most comfortable traveling in.
- Take pictures. I used my cell phone and it was immensely helpful to be able to review what I had seen at the end of the day.
- Don’t just check out the house you are interested in. Check out the neighbors, up the street, behind the house, look for dogs, count the number of cars on the street... You are not just buying a house, you are buying a community.
- Talk to the neighbors. Most of the time neighbors are out (at least in my experience) and they are eager to find out more about you. Chat with them. Get to know them a little bit. They are a wealth of information.
- Bring your kids to look. I know, this sounds crazy but I found that having my son with me was helpful in that he found all those things that will be problematic (or in some cases great) for him. It’s exhausting and be sure to bring more of what’s listed in number 3.
- Don’t bring your kids when you are signing paper work. That is time for you pay attention to details not to be worrying about them breaking into other reactors' offices, taking a giant poo right as you are about to sign your name or running off to play a game of hide and seek (yes, all of this happened)
- Don’t give up. There is a home out there for you. It just hasn’t found YOU yet.
Please add more to this list in the comments section. I’d love to hear what you’ve learned!