Home » What Should Be on Your New Home Checklist?
Real Estate

What Should Be on Your New Home Checklist?

Young smiling woman using laptop in new home searching for repair master, copy space, movement concept

When shopping for a new home, having a good new home checklist can be a big help for you to record both the pros and cons of each home you visit. Having a checklist can quickly let you see how well the areas you’ve been searching for match your housing wants and needs. However, finding the right home and actually getting it are two very separate things, especially in today’s housing market. Having a great new home checklist at your disposal will prepare you for the entire home buying process and help ensure you move into your perfect home rather than lose it to another buyer who was better prepared. Below is a list of items to include on your checklist, ranging from documents or things you should prepare ahead of time to services or professionals you can talk to in order to make the home buying experience smoother.

Mortgage Pre-Approval Letter

Unless you’re fortunate enough to make an all-cash purchase offer, you’ll need some sort of mortgage financing to even have a dream of buying your new home. So, before you even begin looking at homes for sale, it would be a good idea to get a mortgage pre-approval letter from a lender showing your ability to purchase the home. This will make people selling their homes much more willing to talk to you since they don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ll be able to pay. It also can help the bank become more willing to approve any loans you might want to take out in order to pay for whichever home you eventually decide to purchase.

Homebuying Wish List and Must-Have Features

When deciding you want to live somewhere else, you should decide on what you want and what you need in your home. What you need can be known as your new home must-haves. These are the non-negotiable items like the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a two-car garage, the right sized yard, a good school district, and so on. These could even be the entire reason you’re moving in the first place; maybe the home you currently live in has grown too small for your family, or maybe you’re looking to find a safer area to live in. 

After you decide on that, you should define your wants, such as a swimming pool, outdoor kitchen, home theatre, or anything else you don’t necessarily need but would love to have in your new home. These are amenities or features that you could live without, but they’d be nice to have.

House Hunting Apps

With financing lined up and your list of wants and must-haves in place, you’re ready to begin actually exploring the market at large. Online house hunting apps are a great place to start if you’re not ready to get in contact with a realtor, and they can help you learn about the different homes in your price range and target area. With these apps, because it would also be a good idea to consult a wide range of apps and home buying sites, you can see photos of each home along with maps of where they are at, the specs and features, how long they have been on the market, and plenty of other useful information. When you do eventually speak with a realtor, having a list of potential homes already lined up can greatly speed up the process of finding the home you want, if for no other reason than the realtor will have an even more concrete idea of what you want.

Real Estate Agent

An experienced, well-qualified real estate agent can make all the difference when it comes to getting the right home at the right price. In addition to finding suitable homes meeting your criteria, an agent’s job is to track market conditions, prepare competitive offers, and negotiate until an offer is accepted. Even if you do have the money to pay for the home, a real estate agent can haggle the price down to something even cheaper, leaving you with more money to handle other home-buying needs such as inspections or getting the home you’re currently in ready for market. An agent can be a great ally, especially if this is your first foray into the volatile market of real estate.

Home Inspection Company

Lastly, you’ll need to decide on a home inspection company. Not only is a professional home inspection required whenever you take out a mortgage, but it will provide you with valuable insights into the condition of your potential new home. You can find reputable home inspection companies by reaching out to your realtor or researching them on your own through the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors.

Finding the right home for you can be a long and sometimes tedious process. That’s why it’s important that you go in knowing what you want and prepared to stick to your guns. It’s also important to stay organized and prepare well in advance so that it’s easier to keep track of your progress and you can give anyone you consult a clearer picture of what exactly you want. Necessary prep work, such as documentation that proves you can afford to buy a home in the first place and a well-thought-out wish list are great places to start your home buying journey. After that, diligent research and putting your trust in professionals who can do an excellent job of finding what you want and haggling for a price you can afford can make the process so much smoother compared to you attempting everything on your own. Finally, making sure your dream home really is your dream home through an inspection can leave you satisfied that you finally accomplished your goal of finding the perfect place to live. It just takes some planning, research, and the reliance on people who are good at their jobs.

About the author

Kara Masterson

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment