On Wednesday’s, we provided you with a high-level overview of Defining your home search requirements.  In today’s video, we are going to break this down a little further for you so that you are prepared for the types of things that will help us find your dream home.
Hi, I’m Diane McConaghy Associate Broker and Full-time Realtor® with RE/MAX Select Realty.
First and foremost, what’s your timing on when you want to move?  Are you currently leasing and have a deadline on when your lease expires?
you need to share with us the amount that you were preapproved for on your mortgage application.  Our goal is not to exceed that amount but more importantly, find a home that meets your needs while staying within your budget, or a price that you are most comfortable with and sometimes this is lower than the amount that you are prequalified for.

Secondly, it’s important that you define your Needs vs Nice to have.  It’s important for you to understand that no matter what your price point is, it is very rare to find the perfect home where it’s 100% of what you’re looking for.  This is why understanding what you must have versus what is nice to have is critical to your home search.  If you are a couple looking for a home, we always suggest that you both create your own list and then come together and decide what is most important and what you’re willing to sacrifice if most of your requirements are met.

Now, let’s get into specifics.  Do you know where you want to live?  Have you narrowed where you want to be by County and even the Neighborhood.  Or perhaps living within a specific school district is most important to you.  Do you want to live within a certain proximity to your work.  Do you want to be within walking distance to a bus line or perhaps the T service.  Do you want to live in the City where the wage taxes are higher or perhaps this is a work requirement, or would you rather live out in the country or even a county that has lower taxes but a longer commute.  Other than cost, this is one of the most important requirements for your home search.  We need to narrow this down before we even start touring.  Otherwise, you will spend countless hours going from one end of the city or county to the next.  We always encourage our buyers to drive through areas that they are considering prior to touring so that they are aware of amenities and surroundings.
Have you thought about the type of home that you want to live in?  An old Victorian, Split Entry, Ranch, 2 story, cape cod?  Have you thought about a townhouse or condo?  Are you aware of the Home Owner’s Association Fees with Townhouses and Condos – and sometimes the limited parking.  Does the age of the home matter? 

Do you want a home that has been fully renovated, or are you a DIYer and you’re ok with a fixer upper?  How much work is too much work?  Are you ok with a foreclosure property that may take some time to close and may have undisclosed issues?

It’s not just defining how many bedrooms or bathrooms, but sometimes the size of the rooms are important.  Do you have a king size bed?  If so, we are never going to suggest touring a home where the bedroom sizes may be too small for your bed sizes.

Do you love to cook, or do you eat out most of the time.  Is the amount of counter space or cabinet space on your must have list.  Do you want an eat-in kitchen, or would you prefer a dining room.  Are you used to cooking with a gas stove or electric stove?

Do you want a finished basement?  What floor do you prefer the laundry to be on?

Are you used to living in the country where septic and well water are common or would you prefer only to have public water and public sewer?

Have you thought about the size yard that you want?  Do you want it to be level or perhaps even fenced in?  Do you want a house that sits on many acres with no neighbors, or would you prefer living in a neighborhood with sidewalks so that you can walk your dog everyday?    
Once we define your home search criteria, it’s important that we get you set up on a search on the West Penn MLS so that you immediately know when a home becomes Active on the market.  We recommend using the website search that we provide versus a third-party home search site like Zillow and Realtor.  These sites are delayed with their listing notifications and many times have homes listed where the owner has already accepted an offer.

I know this is a lot to think about, but it’s one of the most important financial decisions of your life.  That’s why our team is here to help you through the process.  Our team is laser focused  on helping you find your dream home and we’re all about Moving Right Along.

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