Post # 1
- Wedding: June 2014 - Ontario, Canada ♥ EDD- April 2016
The summer before university my parents bought me a condo
in the same city as my school so that they wouldn’t have to pay rent, they could just pay the mortgage. My FI moved in with me a year later and he pays half of the mortgage.
Now that my FI has graduated and I’m about to graduate, my parents are looking to sell the condo and buy us a home in our hometown. We’ll still pay half the mortgage and then when we both have a steady income we can take over the mortgage or we’ll save for another house and they’ll rent this one.
It’s my spring break this week and my FI has the week off from work and we’re going to look at houses with my mom tomorrow (: I’m really excited (and a little nervous). I went looking at condos with my parents about four years ago, but we didn’t look at many before buying the one we’re living in now.
Do you have any advice? If you had a great experience house hunting, what made it great? If you had a stressful/bad experience, what would you do differently next time?
Post # 3
@sugarpea: Make a list of things you must have, would love to have, and can live without. Other than that, have fun and respect each other’s opinions.
Post # 4
I did have a wonderful experience with house hunting! We were lucky & had a fantastic realtor. We would set up maybe 2-4 showings in a day, since any more than that will get overwhelming and they all kind of run together. I would print off the MLS listing for the houses we planned to visit for the day and maybe even do a “drive by” in the evening to scope out the neighborhood. When we did the walk through, I would take notes on the back side of the listing, so I could keep each property clearly separated in my mind. I would make sure to note things I liked, things I didn’t like, things that would need to be updated/improved/etc.
We had to squeeze most of our home visits over the weekend, so there were weekends where we saw 4 houses on Saturday and another 4 on Sunday. It was overwhelming & exhausting, but with our realtor it was a blast.
We saw probably 30 properties before narrowing our search down to 2 or 3 favorites, then we re-visited those before making any offers.
Take a camera & a bottle of water too (also, in case the house is vacant, make sure you have some tissues or toilet paper in the car or your pocket in case you have to go to the bathroom- and make sure the house has running water before you use the toilet… some of the houses may be winterized if they’re vacant!)
Post # 5
Make a list of what you are looking for in a house. Also, make sure to look closely at the walls, ceilings, and flooring for cracks. I would bring a camera to take pictures as well. Take good notes on what you liked and didn’t like.
I would suggest printing out the listing becuase if you look at too many houses in one day you may get them all mixed up.
Post # 6
I would “like” the posts above if I could! Although the only thing we did differently was marathon listing views. We’ve done anywhere from 10-13 houses in one day before. Sometimes you don’t need much time looking at houses. We’ve walked in and right back out of houses before.
I will second the poster that said to make a list of your absolute must haves, your wants, and what would be nice but not necessary. If you know for a fact you will only buy a house in a certain school district or town, don’t look at houses outside of that area – it just wastes time. Same thing with baths and bedrooms. But don’t discount a house that might need a little work. It’s gratifying doing things yourself.
Biggest piece of advice: Look past the cosmetic! If you hate the paint color, a gallon of paint is $30-$50. With that said, if the house looks like a showplace, look past the furniture and the homeowners taste to the bones of the house. Just because it looks beautiful doesn’t mean its right for you.
Post # 7
Ignore paint color and flooring – that can easily be changed to whatever tickles your fancy!
One piece of advice that I was told that I now tell everyone — it doesnt matter what the inside or outside look like, because you can change virtually everything about the house. The only thing that you cant change is the location! Make sure the property is located where you want to live. As they say, its all about LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!!!
Post # 8
I agree with PP – do a drive by of the house before you set up a visit. FI and I didn’t do that at first and would drive up to the house that had a HUGE power line running through the backyard, or it would back up to a run down trailor park, or it backed up to a shopping center. It wasted our time and our realtors time because we didn’t even want to look at those kinds of houses.
Also, from personal experience, we were looking at older homes at first and were optimistic we could remodel when we moved it (ie: paint, switch out old appliances, etc..). Well, luckily we moved in to a newer house with minor remodel needs and THANK the Lord we did. Just painting is enough to make a sane person crazy. Our ceilings are the “popcorn” ceilings and we were like “Oh yeah, we can fix that no problem”. Well, let’s just say, we did one room and called it quits. Home repair stuff is time consuming and costly, so be aware of that. It’s not as easy as one would think! 🙂
But house hunting is fun! We really enjoyed it and found a great house, in a great neighborhood. Good luck and I hope you are able to find the perfect house!
Post # 9
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
You can use google maps bird’s eye view to look at houses without leaving your living room. It’s a great way to eliminate places that are across the road from a pigsty, next to power lines, next to high traffic areas, etc.
Post # 10
- Wedding: June 2014 - Ontario, Canada ♥ EDD- April 2016
@housebee: Thanks so much for the tip (: the lists help put things in perspective!
@DaneLady: Thank you very much for sharing your experiences and tips! I never would have thought to bring toilet paper along. And I’ll definitely be writing the notes on the back of the listing information. Thanks, it’ll definitely help us keep things organized!
@megz06: I didn’t actually know it was okay to take pictures (I really don’t know why I thought this ahah) so that’s great to know. I don’t want details to get fuzzy a few days after we see a property.
@irin997: Thanks for all of your advice! It’s all really helpful, especially the part about location. We keep looking outside of the area we originally wanted since our town is small and there aren’t a ton of options in our ideal areas. I definitely don’t think it makes sense to waste time looking at them if we might just regret living in that location eventually.
@MLDoddie: Thank you! I’ve obviously said it to myself many times before but I really needed to hear it again to keep me focused (:
@futuremrsgo: Awesome tips! Thanks for sharing your experiences (: We’re actually looking at older homes so your advice will come in handy!
@lovekiss: Such a good idea! I’ve been streetviewing properties like crazy today 😉 It really opens your eyes to the neighbourhood and the previous owners aha.