Use a Home Buying Checklist

A Home-Buying Checklist is probably one of the important items to have in your hands when you start the house-hunting process. If you’re seriously looking for organizational help buying a home – you need a home buying checklist – period.

If you’re like me, you tend to be a little un-organized, particularly when you start a project or activity you don’t do every month or year like house-shopping.  When I’m in the market to buy a home, I know I need some organizational help and a home buying checklist provides just that.

What should be your home-buying checklist look like? That will obviously vary from person to person, but the best checklist I’ve found is actually a freebie from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. I’ve provided a link below.

I really like the layout of HUD’s home buying checklist, and it’s broken down into four sections:

1) The Home

It goes without saying that “the home” is a key part of the buyer’s checklist. This part of the checklist offers a concise method of what to look for in the home, and notes you can make as you walk through and around the home.  At the end of a long day of looking at homes, how are you going to remember the details of each home – your likes and dislikes?

Let’s say you looked at four houses on a Saturday. At the end of the day, what do you have to help you remember what you looked at? Four realtor sheets? What if there things about home No. 2 you loved, but several things you disliked as well? Get your HUD home buyer checklist and use it.

I would also recommend taking several pictures of each house – a front view, street view, rear view, and a couple of interior pictures as well.

2) The Neighborhood

Just as important as the home is the neighborhood the home is within. What’s the appearance of the area? Is traffic a problem? Is this area safe? Trust me – these are things a savvy realtor won’t talk about most likely – it’s up to you to investigate.

3) Schools

While this is a key home buying tip for younger couples, strong schools often reflect strong home values and shorter marketing times. So, schools are also important when you become a home seller as well.

4) Home convenience

I place this in my neighborhood section, but HUD places convenience features as a stand-alone. How is this home situated to your world? Is it within a reasonable commute to work, school, shopping, church, etc.

Getting organized is the first step in a successful buying experience, whether you are first time buying or an experienced buyer, of if you are buying a new home or an older home. It is critical to get organized and stay organized through the process of buying. Get an inexpensive folder, download the home buyer checklist from below, take pictures, and make tons of notes – you won’t regret it.

I highly recommend HUD’s buying checklist.  The link is found below.  Print it out several times and have one handy on your next home visit.

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