You’ve finally decided that you’re ready to buy a new home. Great! One of the most difficult decisions is behind you! You’ve taken the first steps toward a home purchase by getting pre-qualified and/or pre-approved. Now it’s time to search for that dream home. But what do you look for? Your home should fit the way you live, with spaces and features that appeal to the whole family, including the furry members.
Start a notebook. Before you begin looking at homes, make a list of your priorities – things like location and size. Should the house be close to certain schools? your job? to other facilities? How large should the house be? What type of natural setting do you prefer? What kinds of amenities are you looking for? Make both a list of minimum requirements and also, a “wish list.” Minimum requirements are things that a house must have for you to consider it, while a wish list covers things that you'd like to have but aren't essential.
Make a list of questions at the beginning of your new home search. This will help you organize your thoughts and arrange all of the information you receive. When you start viewing homes, use your smart phone to take photographs of each house: the outside, the major rooms, the yard, and extra features that you like or ones you see as potential problems. And don't hesitate to return for a second look.
Tips for Buyers
What You Need to Know
Finding the Perfect Home for Your Family
Learn about local schools. Contact the city or county school board or the local schools for information about school systems in the community. Also, we will be happy to tell you about schools in the area.
Find out about community resources. Contact the local chamber of commerce for promotional literature or ask us about welcome kits, maps, and other information. Also, you can learn a lot by visiting the local library or searching the Internet.
Find out how much homes are selling for. We can give you a ballpark figure by showing you comparable properties using our database.
Decide on a community. Select a community that will allow you to best live your daily life. Many people choose communities based on schools or shopping. Is access to local facilities like libraries and museums important to you? Or do you prefer the peace and quiet of a secluded community? When you find places that you like, talk to people that live there. They know the most about the area and will be your future neighbors. More than anything, you want a neighborhood where you will feel welcome and comfortable. And remember, we can show and sell you any home in Arkansas, even if it’s listed by a different agency.
Care-free new home or an older one with character? There isn't a definitive answer to this question. You should look at each home for its individual characteristics. Newer homes incorporate modern architecture and systems. They are typically easier to maintain and are more energy-efficient. People who buy new homes often don't want to worry initially about upkeep and repairs. But older homes tend to be in more established neighborhoods, offer more ambiance, and have lower property tax rates. People who buy older homes, however, shouldn't mind maintaining their home and making some repairs.
What to look for when walking through a home. In addition to comparing the home to your minimum requirement and wish lists, consider the following factors:
1. Is there enough room for both the present and the future?
2. Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms?
3. Is the house structurally sound?
4. Do the mechanical systems and appliances work?
5. Is the yard big enough?
6. Do you like the floor plan?
7. Will your furniture fit in the space? Is there enough storage space? (Bring your tape measure!)
8. Does anything need to repaired or replaced? Will the seller repair or replace these items?
9. Imagine the house in good weather and bad, and in each season. Will you be happy with it year-round?
Take your time and think carefully about each house you see, as we point out the pros and cons of each home from a professional standpoint.
Ask questions. Many of your questions should focus on potential problems and maintenance issues. Does anything need to be replaced? What things require ongoing maintenance (e.g., paint, roof, HVAC, appliances, carpet)? Also ask about the house and neighborhood, focusing on quality-of-life issues. Ask questions until you understand all of the information you’re given. That’s what we’re here for.
Although buying a new home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in life, there’s no need for the journey to be anything but pleasant, especially when we walk with you. Simply take the time and care to prepare for your home search using the recommendations listed above, and we will help you have a wonderful time finding your happy new home.
What they’re saying ...
“Teresa made the home selling and buying process very easy. This was our first time selling and we knew very little. But she walked us through every step and answered all questions. She is very knowledgeable about her field and takes very good care of her clients. So glad that we were referred to work with her.”
– Tish B.