Home shopping immediately comes to mind once you’ve got a preapproval from a mortgage lender. An open house gives you an opportunity to set your feet, observe and get the feel of a property that you’re considering buying. As a first-time homebuyer, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with information as you attend several open houses. Since you’re making one of the biggest investments in your life, it’s important that you end up with a home that suits your personal preferences and your finances.
Before shopping for a home, you probably have many preferences in mind. Some homebuyers use a wish list so they have a clear idea of what they’re looking for while viewing an open house. If you already have a home wish list with you, here are some of the helpful tips to keep you focused as you view a prospective property:
- Jot down information on a note pad – While you might find portable devices handy when writing down information, a note pad reduces your worry of running out of battery charge while in an open house. List down all things that you like and the important questions that you may later want to ask.
- Get a listing sheet – When available, a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) listing sheet can give you additional information about the home that you’re viewing. If there’s no available listing sheet, you may want to search it on well-known online listing sites like Zillow, RealtyTrac, and Trulia.
- Give yourself a break – You might find it tempting to attend many open houses. Some home shoppers attend at least 3 open houses in the morning, then after a lunch break, they may attend another 3 more open houses. Viewing too many open houses without having a break may lead to information overload.
- Take pictures – Have your reliable digital camera or smartphone ready if an open house doesn’t have printed or photocopied images. Pictures are handy visual documentations that you can later check and compare with other open houses that you’ve viewed.
- Ask all the questions you have in mind – As someone making a large purchase, it is important that you ask questions and that you’re satisfied with the answers. You may want to ask follow-up questions if you think there are things you need to clarify with the home seller or its agent.
Depending on your situation, attending an open house is both exciting and stressful. This is especially true if a spouse, a partner or another family member is involved in the homebuying decision process. If you don’t have any open house viewing experience, you may want to observe some open house etiquette as well.
Take actions to secure the home that ticks your boxes
Attending open houses gives you the opportunity to know what it feels like while inside a property that you’re considering buying. Once you’ve found the home that meets your preferences and your budget, you may want to get in touch with a professional loan advisor if you’re ready to apply for a mortgage.