Adventures of a First Time Home Buyer! Part 4 - I always thought I'd be a tourist in Paris...not in another persons home!

 Welcome back to 
The Adventures of a First Time Home Buyer

Today, we'll go over 
Part 4 ~ I always thought I'd be a tourist in Paris...not in another persons home!

  Am I the only person that feels strange walking through another persons home?  
Opening their closets to see what the space and shelving looks like?  
Opening their kitchen and bathroom drawers and cabinets to also see what the space looks 
like and to see if they open and close properly?  
Opening their oven and dishwasher to see if there is a glaring problem?  
 ESPECIALLY when the homeowner DOESN'T leave?
I found this to be more difficult that I thought.  I definitely preferred walking through empty homes.
Unfortunately, most of the empty homes out there are short sales and I'm too impatient to wait for a bank!
So, I adapted!  Here are some ten tips on how to be a  Home Tourist!

Tip #1
Have an in-depth discussion with your Realtor about what you are looking for.
This will ensure that you aren't wasting your time {and your realtors and the sellers time} looking at homes that definitely will not work.  I was very specific with my Realtor: minimum 5 bedrooms, 3 car garage, an RV pad or space for one, in our price range, and a decent kitchen.  We also were very clear about the area we wanted.  This, in itself, limited the number of homes we looked at. In the end, we looked at less than 10 houses, put an offer in on two {remember, I had to pull out of one because it was in South Jordan where they have a HORRIBLE ban against pit bull breeds.  You can read about that HERE}.

Tip #2
Go into your search with a Top 5 list.  Five things you can't or don't want to live without!
At the end, compare which houses meet those Top 5.  If you find one or two that meet the majority of this list and the rest only meet one or two then toss those and focus on the homes that meet your requirements.  Mine were easy {as mentioned earlier}:

1 ~ minimum 5 bedrooms
2 ~ 3 car garage with 8 foot doors
3 ~ RV pad or room for it
4 ~ Kitchen
5 ~ Master bedroom, bathroom, and closet must be nice
{this was a big one for both Boo~Bear and I}

We also had a #1 Priority that beat out all of these wants/needs.  We had to stay within a school boundary.  I am not about to move my Jr. High age children to a different school.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it!

Tip #3
Check out daily {or the local real estate website for your area}.  Homes go on the market every day...especially in the current market.

Tip #4
DO NOT even look at homes that are outside your price range.  It's depressing!

Tip #5
See as many homes as you can in a day BUT don't overdo it.  The houses will start to blend together and soon you'll find that you can't remember which house had which feature you hated or loved!

Tip #6
Take notes.  This will help you with Tip #5.  Our realtor brought MLS printouts for every house we looked at and I wrote on every single one.  If one wouldn't work I folded it in half and discarded it.  If your realtor doesn't print these out for you, print them out yourself.  You could also print out a checklist of some sort for each listing with a list of what you are looking for {your Top 5 list should be at the top of this}.

Tip #7
Take some bottled water and maybe even a snack or two.  Being a Home Tourist can be exhausting!

Tip #8
Leave the kids at home if you can.  There were times when I had to take mine and let me tell you, it's much easier to walk through a home without the distraction of your children.  

Tip #9
Have FUN!

Tip #10
Trust me on this'll know the house when you walk into it.  The home we ended up putting an offer on {the second one} meets my #1 Priority and only 3 of the 5 needs/wants BUT in my mind, it's PERFECT!

Stay tuned for a picture of my new home...we should be closing on February 7th!