You whipped your credit into shape. Your savings account includes money for both your down payment and closing costs. You found the perfect agent. Now, it's time to find the perfect house. How do you go looking at Tucson houses without losing your mind? Your options can be overwhelming at times. Follow this helpful house-hunting guide and you'll be closing the deal on your next home before you know it!
House-Hunting Guide for Tucson Real Estate
Make a List
To get started with your house-hunting, make a list of everything you want/need in a Tucson home. How many bedrooms and bathrooms at a minimum do you need? What size house? Big yard? No yard? Low maintenance? Ideal neighborhood? Large kitchen? Open floor plan? Don't forget the budget, too. Create a bucket list of what you believe should be included in your next home. Then, be prepared to adjust it as needed. As you move along in this process, you'll discover that your bucket list will change. Maybe those finishes you thought were great really aren't. Perhaps you could do with fewer bedrooms or you realize that 1500 square feet just isn't big enough. Your "needs" may change once you see what's on the market. That's OK. But it helps to create a starting point with your wish list.
Talk to Your REALTOR®
Next up on the house-hunting list? Talk to your REALTOR®. Let them know what you're looking for as well as your budget. Also, explain why you're moving (expanding family, tired of renting, downsizing for retirement, etc). They might be able to steer you in a direction you didn't even think of (single-family home for ease of living as you grow older, better school district for kids, great condos for a low maintenance lifestyle). Since they know the market, they can also tell you what items on your list are easily doable and which ones might need to be scaled back.
Drive Around Your Favorite Neighborhoods
Take some time to drive around your favorite neighborhoods. Make a note of any "for sale" signs you see. Pay attention to how many signs you see as well. An excess of signs sometimes indicates an issue within the neighborhood. Ask your REALTOR® to find out more information about the Tucson home you like as well as the neighborhood in which it sits.
Visit Open Houses
Another suggestion to help you with your house-hunting is to visit open houses. It costs nothing to look. But these open houses can be a treasure trove of information. This is where your "wish list" may begin to change. If you aren't under a specific time crunch (new job, for example), feel free to take your time. You never know when you might stumble across the perfect Tucson home in the process.
Bring a Camera and Take Notes
Once you visit a few properties, they tend to blend together. To keep them separated, pull out your camera phone or bring a camera with you. It might help to start with a photo of the street sign as well as the number on the house or mailbox. Then, you'll know that the photos following it belong to that address. Take a photo of the front of the house and all the things you like/don't like about the property. Your smartphone should have a notes app built into it. Or, you can download one. Then, jot down what you know about the location, condition, amenities, and even how you feel about the property. This can be a huge influencing factor when buying a home, too.
Finally, not everyone's design is your taste. Overlook the funky paint, outdated furniture, and crazy knick-knacks while house-hunting. Decor can be changed. Location cannot. Is the house in sound condition? Do you see any water stains? Does it have decent-sized bedrooms? Do you like its location in regards to your children's school or your work? The answers to these questions mean much more than how the current owner decided to decorate.
You've probably heard the saying "you gotta kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince". Well, in the Tucson real estate game, house-hunting might show you several "OK" houses before you find the one you want to purchase. When you're ready to start your house-hunting journey, contact me.