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Oklahoma Mortgage Bank’s 10 Steps to Home Ownership Series Part 4

Part 4: Look at Homes

Oklahoma Home Search

The time to start looking at homes has finally come. In the U.S., millions of new and existing homes are
sold every year. With the housing market in its current state, there is definitely no shortage of housing
choices. While having countless housing options seems great, it can become difficult to narrow down your list and find a home that best suits your needs.

One thing that makes the housing market especially complicated is the fact that the stock of homes is always in changing. Homes become available and properties for sale are put under a contract almost every minute of every day. Unfortunately, the technology needed to generate a complete list of every property available in a specific area has not become available to us yet. Therefore, homebuyers are looking at a moving target in a housing market that is never fixed. Because of this, our team at Oklahoma Mortgage Bank has provided a few tips to help future homebuyers narrow down their home search and find a home the best suits their needs.

What do you want?

There is so much more to a home than square footage and price. If you tell your real estate agent or realtor that you are looking for a three bedroom, two and a half bathroom home in a particular price range, they are likely to provide you with a lengthy list of contenders. You will soon find that several properties will have the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need at the price point you wish to stay at. However, homes are more than just a collection of bedrooms and bathrooms. Two homes with the same amount of square footage and the exact same price may very well represent different styles, commuting distances, lot sizes, tax costs, interior finishes and exterior architectural elements.

Every homeowner is different; therefore, it is extremely important to list the features and benefits you are searching for in your future home. Do you want a pool, large kitchen, master suite or big backyard? Are you looking for a single-story home or two-story? Do you have the time and energy for a fixer-upper or do you need a home that is move-in ready? Asking yourself these questions will make it easier for you to narrow down the list of homes that fit your basic needs.

Prioritize your wants.

Let’s face it; the majority of us do not have an unlimited budget to purchase a home with. Therefore, the next step in looking at homes is to prioritize your list of wants. What features are more important to you? Would you rather have a home that is closer to work, but smaller in size or a home that is a further commute, but includes an extra bedroom? Would you be willing to sacrifice a swimming pool for a big kitchen?

Lastly, think about your future needs. If you are looking to start a family, would you rather buy a larger home in the beginning or add on later? Once you have given your list of home features some thought, develop a new list with your must haves on top.

Start looking at neighborhoods.

Every neighborhood and community has a different identity and value. Some neighborhoods may be known for their historic homes and tree-lined streets, while other neighborhoods may be known for their contemporary-style condos and retail. Use your list of home features to help you select a neighborhood or community. Once you have a defined area, it is time to select a home.

How to find a house.

Whether you choose to search properties yourself online, or have a real estate agent do the searching for you, it is crucial to target your search. To start, use your price range and area to develop a list of homes. Once you have a list, look for homes with the features that you find most attractive. To help keep track of the homes you like, print off each listing and make notes as you view the homes. Once you are finished looking, create a file for the listing, your notes and the agent’s information.

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