When you first start looking at house listings, you may not expect that there are hundreds or even many thousands of homes available in your area. It is easy to get overwhelmed when looking at home listings since there are so many different kinds of homes with a diverse array of amenities available. To save a lot of time and effort, as well as avoid frustration, you need to prepare to find exactly what you need in a house listing.
Tip #1: Make Three Important House-Hunting Lists
When you envision your dream home, you probably have an exact picture in your head. It may have a hot tub, view of the beach, or sewing room. No matter what special feature fills you with a desire to live in a home, it won't be hard to figure out what that is. Make the following three lists as you prepare to search through house listings.
List 1: Must-Haves – These are the qualities that a home must have before you would even consider buying it. Be specific here, and make sure that you include all the things you really can't live without when it comes to a home.
List 2: Strong Preferences – In this list, write all the things you would really like to have in a home, yet that you can do without. For example, if you like to enjoy the sun in the window, you may want a sun roof in the living room. However, if you can be happy with the sun through the window instead, it is probably just a strong preference, not something you must have.
List 3: Extra Perks You'd Like – This list is reserved for things that aren't your strongest preferences, yet they are features of a home that are positives. For example, if you like fruit trees in your yard, but they wouldn't really affect your decision on a home at all, that would be a feature for this list.
Talk to your spouse until you can agree on which features to include on all three lists. Having these lists on hand will be helpful throughout the moving process.
Tip #2: Use Advanced Search Filters
When you to search house listings, many websites will offer you the chance to use an advanced search filter. In doing so, you can select a search that pulls up only the things you most want in a home.
Tip #3: Discover the Joy of Control + F Commands
If the website you use for house hunting doesn't have advanced search filter options, try using the Control plus the F key commands. Hold the Control button down while you press the F button. That should bring up a small search key in your browser. You can then use it to search for your most desired features within that page of the website.
Tip #4: Start as Specific as Possible
When you start to search through house listings for your home, start as specific as possible. For example, you may choose to filter for the criteria from all three lists at first. Then use just the top two lists. Ultimately, when you look through listings, you may want to just use the "Must-Haves" list. Starting as specific as possible helps you see how many houses are available that really have every feature you'd like.
Finally, keep in mind that house listings are a dime a dozen in nearly any town. It is important to take your time when perusing the available listings, but don't get bogged down in how many listings there are. Stay focused on what you want, and you will also be in control of the houses you see. That will make it much easier to find the one you will ultimately buy.