For some people, looking at open houses is a fun, leisure-time activity. However, when you’re relocating to a new city, a much more business-like approach is appropriate. You may have to complete your house research and come to a decision in the space of one or two weekends.
The secret to a successful house-hunting trip is to be as informed and organized as possible before you go so you can have a focused and productive trip. Here are some tips:
- Essential house requirements: Use our Find a Home feature to make a list of the essentials you want in a house, e.g,:
- number of bedrooms
- number of bathrooms
- square footage
- age of house
- number of floors
- lot size
- Essential neighborhood requirements: Try our Needham Community and School Reports and make a list of the critical requirements for your new neighborhood, e.g.,:
- commuting time to work
- school requirements
- community demographics (age, education, lifestyle)
- population density (urban, suburban, rural)
- community institutions that are important to you (being close to entertainment, places of worship or other amenities)
- City map: Obtain a Needham map and try to become as familiar with it as you can.
- Neighborhood research: Get an idea of which neighborhoods are likely to meet your requirements. If you can, talk with other people who already live in your new city.
- Price range: Determine what price range of homes you want to look at. Do some research to find out what house prices are like in the area you’re moving to. It is important to arrive on your house-hunting trip with a realistic expectation of what you will need to spend in order to afford a home in a neighborhood that meets your requirements.
- Real estate agent: If you are ready to start searching, try our Find My Dream Home feature and feel free to contact us by phone when you are ready to start looking. We will be happy to start planning and arranging your home search.
- Reality check: Make sure you convey your neighborhood requirements and your price range, so we know that your price range is realistic for the area your're searching in.
- Priced to sell: We can look at everything but it is generally wise to only focus on houses that are "priced to sell". Some home sellers over-price their listings. You don’t want to waste your time or confuse yourself by looking at houses with unrealistic asking prices.
- Checklists and notes: When you go on your house-hunting trip, take along your lists of essential house and neighborhood requirements, your map, your research notes concerning communities (schools, amenities, etc.) and a house-hunting checklist. This checklist is a list of key features of houses, so that you can take organized notes on every house that you visit. You can use the map to mark locations of houses.
With good planning and the right real estate agent, you can accomplish a lot on your house-hunting trip.