Making the House Hunting Checklist

Finding a home begins with making a property search checklist. Once a buyer has this invaluable tool, the house hunt can get off to a successful start. Since the object is for search terms to steer buyers in the right direction, don't make parameters excessively strict and eliminate too many possibilities from the beginning: doing so can leave few if any choices. Coming up with a realistic list that helps more than hinders can sometimes be trickier than it seems.

Begin by taking the necessary time to sit down and organize those thoughts on paper. Think of the home priority checklist as compiled goals. Some of these goals will be achievable and others may take more time to realize but buyers have the best shot of getting most of what they want when they clearly define everything they are looking for in a home. A house hunt can only be as fruitful as a buyer's property search list. The process of finding a home is also much quicker when a real estate agent can search for specific elements. So grab that significant other, then brainstorm about absolute necessities and what would be nice in the next house. If there are pages of must-haves then some editing is needed: the fewer limitations, the more open buyers can be to possible housing options.

After price range, the most important step for many buyers is determining the optimal location. Schools, activities, shopping and employment should be within an easily commutable distance of the property. Size is another primary factor to consider when finding a home. How big is the current family and is it likely to increase or decrease soon? Young families tend to grow while those with teenagers may decrease in size as children leave for college. Don't just find out the amount of bedrooms and bathrooms each potential property has. Also consider the size of common areas like kitchens and living rooms, which will need to accommodate all of the occupants and occasional guests. The condition, age, layout and style of a house may come into this part of the search checklist if these are important factors to buyers.

Now comes the part of the priority checklist that falls under the 'would really be nice' category. If a property doesn't have each of these components, it shouldn't necessarily be vetoed from consideration. This section is actually two-fold. The first section includes items which are difficult and costly to add so it is best to get a house that has them if they are extremely important- a two-car garage, bay views, fireplace, U-shaped kitchen, large yard, basement, etc. Last but not least come the features, or bells and whistles of real estate. Granite countertops, flagstone patio, hardwood flooring, kitchen island, window seat, etc., are all nice touches that homeowners could easily add once the task of finding a home is completed. Search for a house that has space for all of the wanted items and they can be added as time permits.