The Best House Hunting Tips for 2022

August 27, 2021Taking Care of Your Home
Daisy Wilson

Daisy was born in Salt Lake City and in her free time, she writes about moving and watches Charmed.

Home buying power has increased by 19% in 2022. Even if the prices of homes have increased by almost 30%, interest rates are lower than ever, which makes so many people want to buy a property. If you are looking for a dream home, you should check our house hunting tips beforehand. Because no matter how the market stands at the moment, the process of buying a property is the same.

Like there are tips for buying a used car, you can also implement numerous tips when searching for a place to live. Keep reading and find out everything you need to know about buying a property, no matter if you plan to relocate down the street or to another state. We got you covered. From moving tips and car shipping advice to tips for house hunting, you will find all you need to know to have a stress-free relocation.

What to Look For When House Hunting – Identify Your Needs

First, you need to decide where to live. Will you move to a big city or some small town? Are you planning to move out of state or down the block? Do you want a small or big family residence? These are all questions you must ask yourself before you start calculating your expenditures because your relocation budget will depend on the size of your move and location, too.

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Tip 1 – Find a Right Neighborhood

When searching for a place to live, location is one of the most important factors determining its worth. Even before you start searching for a home, you can look into neighborhoods in your city of choice. Depending on your needs, you can choose either a community with good schools if you are relocating with kids or an area close to economic hubs. For example, it is known that driving in Los Angeles is a nightmare entailing a lot of driving stress, so maybe it is wiser to choose a neighborhood near your work.

Tip 2 – Size and Type of Property

Another thing you must decide is the size and type of the estate. The size will depend on your needs, and it is probably the part where it is harder to make a compromise, while the type can be negotiable. For example, townhouses are cheaper than detached homes. Also, how many rooms are on the estate should be something to look up. Or, if there are not enough rooms, is it possible to build one from existing.

Neighborhood with townhouses
Townhouses are way more affordable than other types of accommodation

Tip 3 – Does Home Require Additional Work?

Many properties on the market are in their original state, and many owners decide not to do any significant renovations because it simply doesn’t pay off. For this reason, these properties will have a lower cost because appraisal will calculate all the work that has to be done. In fact, in the end, you will pay the market price only. So make sure to calculate this when making your budget.

Tip 4 – Is There Enough Storage Space

A huge part of determining the worth lies in the storage space the place has and what kind of space it is. For example, you probably want to have a garage and a wide enough driveway. If you plan to make your dream come true about owning an RV, you will need a large driveway. Also, with enough space, you can forget about creative storage ideas you’d have to follow and not to mention that your unpacking after a move will be bliss, without concerns about whether your grandma’s figurine will have a place on the main shelf.

Driveway ready for the door to door auto transport from the USA auto transport company
Wide driveway and a garage are always plus

House Hunting Tips – What to Do Before You Start

When planning a move that involves buying a property, you need to start early. Finding a place to live from a long distance will not be easy, so start with this a couple of months in advance. You will have to save money to move and to save money for a down payment. You will need to think about many things like finding a movers, car shipping company, real estate agent, and don’t forget about the money you will need to get the paperwork done. Finally, when speaking of money, be sure to save enough for at least three months of living expenses.

Tip 5 – Start With an Online Search

Moving to a new home requires a lot of research and hard work. Luckily, you don’t have to do it all on foot. There are numerous websites where you can check the situation on the market. And it will be good to start early, just to get a picture of how much money you need to save and what kind of places are on the offer. Here are some websites where you can search:

Tips 6 and 7 – Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval and Find a Real Estate Agent

There is a lot of competition among buyers out there, and you would want to position yourself as the best buyer there is. The best way to do so is to get a mortgage pre-approval. Do so, and you will show the seller that you mean business and that you’re not in any financial problems.

So what is a mortgage pre-approval? This is something that most agents and sellers will ask of you. No mortgage pre-approval is a huge red flag for most sellers. All you need to do is go to your bank to fill in a loan application and provide them key documentation on your income, credit history, assets, and debts. According to all these factors, a mortgage underwriter will tell you how much money you can borrow and how big your monthly installment will be. This is one of the crucial things on your house hunting tips checklist because you will know what kind of estate to look up.

The next step will be to find a real estate agent. You can ask friends and family to recommend someone they know if you don’t know any, or you can find one online. Your agent must be confident in knowing the market and prices in your city of choice. So if the agent is googling about something you ask in your neighborhood, this is a huge red flag. A good agent should know all about the said neighborhood and the real estate he is trying to sell.

Person signing a paper with a bank
All buyers should get a mortgage pre-approval

Tip 8 – Make Relocation Arrangements and Buy a Place in Person

No matter your reasons for moving, whether you are relocating for a job or because of love, it is always better to see the place you are purchasing in person. If possible, go to your city of choice and rent a place for living so you can buy a place in person. Find movers with storage units and keep most of your belongings there until you move to a bigger place. Book an auto transport company, ship your car on an open trailer to the desired destination and make travel arrangements for yourself and your family.

On the other hand, if you are relocating alone, you can skip this step and drive to your destination – this way you will get to know some of the famous routes in the USA.

Still, if you have a luxurious car, you can try exotic car transport or ask your company about enclosed auto transport. Another choice you have is between the door-to-door auto transport and terminal to terminal car shipping, and this choice will greatly depend on the position in your new place, so consider that as well.

usa auto transport truck
Some streets are not wide enough for door to door auto transport

Narrow Down Your Choices Among a Pool of Candidates and Schedule Property Viewing

Now that you have an agent and a loan, you can start narrowing down your selection of places. It is time to take your house hunting guide and head out to check up on each of them. Your realtor should help you narrow down the list, book the appointments, and later help you make an offer. Look for a couple of places and choose the one that fits your needs and budget the most. Do not set foot on a price offered by the seller. Remember, the price is always negotiable. Ask your realtor about the Comp price of each place you liked. Comp is a comparable sale where you negotiate the cost depending on the previous sales in that area of the similar houses.

Realtor checking a paper
Compare the prices in the area before making an offer

Do a Discrete Inspection of the Home And  Bring Your House Hunt Checklist With You

Your anxiety about moving out will be much less if you know where you are moving to. So make sure to do a good inspection when looking for a place to live. But don’t do this so openly because the seller might refuse to sell you a residence if you have too many comments about what is wrong with the place. So take your checklist and discreetly mark what you think is missing. Some things can be fixable, of course, but some demand a lot of work and investment. Usually, things that require investments (like lousy plumbing, foundation, and roof problems) must be reported online after a building code inspection so that all buyers can see them. Missing certification about any assessment should be a huge red flag, and it would be advisable to ask for one or hire a professional to provide one.

Tip 9 – What to Look at in the Kitchen

When in the kitchen, check if cabinets are new and check countertops to see any scratches or damages. Natural lighting and ventilation are some of the essentials in every kitchen, so check that too. If the kitchen is in its original state, calculate how much money you need to buy a new one. Check the floors, too, as tiles are both more expensive and harder to replace.

Tip 10 – Check Your Walls, Floors, and Garden

When you are in a place you plan to buy, look for any marks of humidity and mold on the wall. Also, see the state of the floors – if they’re wobbly, you will probably have to change them and maybe negotiate the price. Also, if there is hardwood, you need to check if there are any traces of termites (tiny holes in the floor.) Also, inspect the garden and see if there is enough light there, as well as trees, grass, and other things you think are essential, like porch and steps.

Check this video for more information on what to look for.

YouTube video

Avoid Mistakes and Enjoy Your Property

Now that you know how to house hunt, it is time to learn what mistakes to avoid. We already mentioned one thing – asking too many questions that sound suspicious. Another thing is to be super thrilled with a place you are seeing. This way, your price negotiation will be a disaster. Also, dress nicely and be polite, as sellers love to see they are selling to good people.

When searching for a place, it is essential to remember that there is no perfect residence from the onset. The only way it will become perfect is to decorate it the way you want to. So avoid the mistakes of finding an ideal place and learn to compromise. Of course, never compromise on what you can not deliver or handle. When it comes to purchasing a residence, the golden rule is to have calculated risks – never risk too much money for something that is not worth it.

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