Shopping for a new home can be a lot of fun, but it can also become a draining process once you start having to visit home after home. If you do not want to spend every weekend touring homes, then you need to narrow them down before visiting in-person. Here are some ways to narrow down your house options by looking at listings only.
Examine pictures and write down details you see.
Often you can tell a lot more from pictures than you can from the short, written description that comes with each listing. A good, systematic way to determine which homes meet your needs is to look through the pictures carefully, and write down the details you see. For instance, if you see a dishwasher in a photo of the kitchen, make note of that. If the paint seems to be peeling in many photos, make note that the paint will need work. After you've browsed a bunch of listings, compare the notes you have made about each one to determine which homes you are really interested in seeing.
Decide what your deal-breakers are.
Chances are, you are not going to find a house that has absolutely every amenity and detail that you want. You're going to have to compromise on some things. A good way to narrow down listings is to decide which of your desirable items are deal-breakers. For instance, maybe you are absolutely not willing to live in a home with less than three bedrooms. That can be a deal-breaker; you will eliminate all homes with less than three bedrooms from your list of potentials. Perhaps you must have a fenced-in yard; you would then eliminate all yards without fencing from your options.
Choose your top neighborhoods and concentrate your search there.
You don't want to go visit a home only to decide that it's too far away from work or in the wrong school district. These are details you can find out about by looking at the listing (and maybe Google Maps). Choose two or three of the top neighborhoods you want to live in, and then concentrate your search on homes in those areas. There's no need to look at homes in different areas.
Minimizing the number of homes you need to visit in-person can make your home search a lot more efficient. Follow the helpful tips above to rely on real estate listings. For more information, look at local single family home listings.
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