Finding Your Dream Home: The Best House Hunting Tips

Today we’re going over essential house hunting tips so you can find your dream house!

The Dos and Don'ts of House Hunting: Expert Advice from a Real Estate Agent

Welcome back! These past few weeks, we’ve been focused on our home buying series. We started off with preparing finances to handle becoming a homeowner and building your credit.

Next, we got the inside scoop on what lenders are looking for to make it easier to get a great deal on your mortgage.

Now we’re talking about the last key step – house hunting. For many this both the fun part of the process, but also the most stressful, especially if you’re buying in a market.

One concern families have is trying to find that hidden gem of place and avoid getting with a money pit.

Which is why I’m happy to have real estate agent and broker Liz Mary Caban from Daymark Realty on. She’s sharing her expertise to make the process easier.

In this episode we get into:

  • how to navigate with your house hunting and find your dream home
  • how to be prepared to move quickly while still staying objective and within your budget
  • what red flags to watch out for when you’re checking out homes

We have a lot to cover, so let’s get started!

Resources on Buying a House

If you’re looking to buy, here are some resources to help you find an affordable place you love!

If you’d like to chat more your money system, please join us in our private and free Facebook group – Thriving Families.

We’re families looking to support and help one another out. Hope to see you there!

Thank You to Our Sponsor Coastal!

thanks to our podcast sponsor Coastal Credit Union. If you want to live better, you have to bank better!

Support for this podcast comes from Coastal Credit Union! If you’re living in the Raleigh Durham area and looking to bank better, come check out Coastal today.

If you're thinking of buying a home here in the Triangle, take a look at Coastal's mortgage options and rates!

What to Buyers Cane Expect When House Hunting

Elle Martinez: For those not familiar, Raleigh is a hot market and it just seems like it's getting even more competitive.

I think it really helps when you're making probably the biggest purchase that most families make coming in with an understanding of what to expect and also, how to plan for this.

The first thing I wanted to talk to you about is just first of all, the mindset in a competitive market. What should [buyers] expect if they hear it's a seller's market or it's a hot market going into buying a house?

Lizmary Caban: That's a great question. What they can expect for someone who's moving from outta state or just from another, you know, town in North Carolina. Raleigh is the capital of North Carolina, and it's also where the triangle is, just to put that in perspective.

And it's always voted in the top, I would say the top five of the best places to live in the country so there's high demand.

What that means is you just have to be prepared that when you go. When a home hits the market, when it gets listed for sale, you have to be prepared to basically drop everything and go and see the home.

You wanna, you can't just say I'll see it on Sunday. It's on the market today. Let's go ahead and see it today. And you can possibly think about it one day, but you have to really see the house quickly and also be prepared. Somebody else might like the house. If you're gonna make an offer on the house, go in with your highest and best. Always.

That's just the mentality that you have to have. Low offers, low offers those are not gonna get, you know. It's a good idea to meet with an experienced or knowledgeable agent that will let you know, give you tips. ‘Hey, here are the comparables. Here's what I would offer.’

Do you feel comfortable with this amount, or do you want to go higher and explain the, the ramifications if they do.

Knowing Your Numbers and Deal Breakers

Elle Martinez: Yeah. First of all, having someone knowledgeable with the area, even if you're from the area, like when we were buying this house years ago before the market really took off, even then it was, like you mentioned, we worked with Daymark.

Having those numbers, those comparables, making sure like we're gonna put in a fair offer, still get a good deal depending on the, the market, but, just that communication with an agent for me gave me some peace of mind.

We have an episode before this talking about preparing your numbers, running the numbers. So like you say, you gotta go in with your best offer, then you need to know the numbers right away so you can put that in.

Also with the expectations, I know for us, something that was helpful, and this was a suggestion of our agent, was kind of having a list of our must haves, the deal breakers in a house versus our [nice-to-haves].

Have you found that helpful and what are some things you would suggest they should put in the deal breakers or the must have columns versus these are nice to have, or maybe you could get this down the line?

Lizmary Caban: Yes, it's very helpful for a buyer to be prepared with some sort of list. Like just the basics would be how many bedrooms, how many bathrooms. That could be a deal breaker.

Some people say, I need, you know, one and a half baths minimum. So the basics around the house, whether they want a one story or two story, whether they want a large yard or not. Then whether they want a home that they needs some tlc, are they handy? Would they like something that needs TLC or do they not wanna look at anything that's that's older than 10 years old.

Yeah. So those are very helpful questions and that can kind of hone in on different communities and different areas to look at as well.

Other deal breakers can be like, I don't wanna be on well and septic. We're not going to look at rural areas because most of them are going to be either on sit county or septic. Do you like driving in rural roads like a one-way road? If you don't, we're not gonna look over here.

Those could be some type of deal breakers for people. Major roads could be deal breakers. And it just depends if the buyer has children, if they're looking to be in a particular school area or district. Those things could be deal breakers as well.

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