I have a few clients out there, just starting to look, not ready to commit yet. My suggestions? Open Houses!! Open houses area great way to get started in your search. Will you find your dream home on one Sunday afternoon? Probably not, but you can really help get yourself on the right track.
Here’s what I think you should do with open houses. First, use them to narrow down your search areas. If right now you are thinking you could live anywhere east of I-75, then you might need to get more specific. So open houses give you a great feel for a neighborhood. You’ll be surprised what a difference a few streets can make in terms of appeal- and you might just find an area of town that you didn’t even know about.
Next, use open houses to gauge what is important to you. After you’ve walked through a house what do you remember? The eat-in kitchen, the soaking tub in the bath, or the amazing backyard? Use this time to prioritize. You probably won’t get everything you’ve ever wanted but this time can help you put things in order of importance.
Then, notice the prices. Learn what homes in different areas of town are selling for, form what size and in what condition. Can you afford what you want? What concessions are you willing to make? Maybe for that right house you don’t need a 2 car garage or granite in the kitchen. Get an idea of reality in the market right now. You’ll be better able to negotiate later if you pay attention to the competition now.
I think open houses are a great way to get started before you make a huge commitment to the process. Sibcycline.com has the best open house website, in my unbiased opinion 🙂 There were 92,323 page views to the online Open House summary page throughout May!!! We post all the open houses, even the competitors, on our site, as soon as the are scheduled-so you can plan your weekend ahead of time. Go ahead and check it out! And once you are ready to get serious and start the process, I hope you’ll give me a call.