Blog August 30, 2021

7 House Hunting Tips for Finding a New Home

Posted in Looking for a Home
Anastasia Hill

Apart from being the next fashion icon, Anastasia is also a freelance writer and expert on moving (and packing clothes).

Finding the perfect home to suit all your needs and match the budget is pretty difficult to do. To streamline the search process, we present you with essential house hunting tips that will help you meet the goal more easily. Check out our ultimate house hunting guide and find a way to your next address effortlessly!

Preparing your home for sale and simultaneously searching for the next perfect residence already sounds complicated. And when several more tasks are added to your relocating to another state checklist, the reason why you feel overwhelmed is clear. Deciding when to start downsizing for a move or learning what the cheapest way to move out of state is and dealing with more tasks at the same time can cause you difficulties to relax and fall asleep. And this could be the introduction to adjustment insomnia you may experience after the move if you don’t prepare emotionally for this big change.

Tip #1: Be Patient While Searching for a Perfect Home

One of the most useful tips for house hunting is to be patient while searching for your dream home. This process can be pretty time-consuming, especially if you’re relocating to a new state. Also, there are many things that might not go according to plan – from difficulties during the trip, like a canceled flight, to a property you could lose because another buyer was faster and placed an offer. Experiencing all these challenges can be emotionally draining, so expect the unexpected and go with the flow because – your perfect place is waiting for you somewhere out there!

According to the National Association of Realtors Report, a home search lasts around eight weeks, and during this period, the average buyer inspects nine homes. Of course, the more precisely you set the priorities and needs, the easier you will make the decision, and here is how to do it!

Doormat with a hearth bought after interstate moving
Patience - the greatest skill you will acquire while inspecting homes and searching for the most suitable place

Tip #2: Set Your Priorities and Don’t Skip Home Tours

Once you’ve set your priorities on how the perfect place should look, you’ll know what to look for when house hunting. The first thing to determine is the size of the realty, how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want, and what elements are non-negotiable. For example, for some people, having a pool or a bedroom for each family member is a non-negotiable element.

For others, the location and potential of the realty are crucial, and they are ready to invest some money into renovations and space adjustments according to their needs. If your priority is to live near the sea, doing research on what the best beach town to live in is definitely a must, so ensure to do it in advance!

How to House Hunt?

Whatever your priority is, the crucial thing to organize is a home tour. This tour will reveal all the advantages and disadvantages of a place, and for this reason, it is one of the most important parts of the buying process. Although the average tour takes 20-30 minutes, it provides enough time to determine if this is the right place for you.

If you find that this space can be the right fit for you, then don’t hesitate to schedule a home inspection. This inspection usually takes a couple of hours, but that gives a complete insight into all the potential issues down the road.

a family on a house tour with a real estate agent, preparing for interstate moving
Define your needs and priorities before starting the search

Tip #3: Create a List of Questions to Ask When Buying to Avoid Any Potential Mistake

One of the most common things you forget to do when you move is to create a list of questions to ask the owners of the property or your real estate agent. Remembering all the information is simply impossible, especially when there are a few homes to consider and compare. Having a list of questions by your side and taking notes is the best way to be sure that you’ve covered all the details and got all the information you needed. Here are some crucial questions all buyers should ask before deciding to put in an offer.

What Is the Reason for the Sale?

People usually decide to move because they need smaller or bigger living spaces, want to be closer to the family, or are getting ready to retire. However, if they mention details such as traffic noise, loud neighborhood, or high maintenance costs – think twice before signing the contract because these can be red flags for similar potential problems for you too.

Is Any Extra Furnishing Included in the Price, Like Kitchen Appliances?

Clarifying if any extra furniture is included in the price will help you decide whether to move some of your appliances or plan the budget to buy new pieces.

How Long Has the Property Been on the Market?

Price negotiations are something to be prepared for, and if you want to decrease the final price, make sure to learn how long the realty has been on the market. This will indicate the demand for a specific type and size of residence, as well as for the area. If the place has been on the market longer than a month, this could be a nice starting point for negotiations.

Keep in mind that the average time for a sale is around three weeks, meaning that if the place has on the market for a longer period of time, it is most probable that the price is unreasonable or there is a major problem to be fixed, like the roof or foundation, which can be too expensive to repair.

What Offers Have the Owners Received and What Is the Minimum Price They Are Willing to Accept?

This is one of the most important questions all buyers should ask the realtor because it will indicate if there is room for price negotiations. Although many people believe that asking this question is pointless, there is a chance that the realtor will give you an answer because this can accelerate the closing of the contract.

When Was the Last Time the Place Was Renovated?

The answer to this question will indicate to all potential buyers how well the property is maintained and if there are any major works to undertake. All this is important to know because it will define how much money you should invest and if any major works should be completed. Since this will impact your budget, make sure to clarify these details before signing the contract and avoid spending more than you planned.

When Can You Move In?

Defining the date when you can move into the place is of essential importance since it will impact the timeline of the whole relocation. After you find out when the previous owners plan to move out, you will be able to schedule the relocation day and plan the rest of the interstate move accordingly.

Pick the right state-to-state movers, book all the moving services you need, including packing services, and schedule auto-transport in advance, too. All this takes some time since nothing can be finished without previous research, like reading the auto transport reviews of the specific company or deciding if you should rent a storage unit. Remember that the optimal time needed to organize your move and avoid last-minute challenges is around three months. For that reason, knowing the exact date when you can move in is of utmost importance.

Before deciding to go for interstate moving, ensure to get answers to all questions and write them down
Answers to the questions mentioned above can reveal many crucial details the buyer needs to know

Tip #4: Create a Detailed Budget, Because There Are Many Hidden Costs You Can’t Even Assume

Budgeting all the expenses properly is of utmost importance. This way, you’ll know what to expect and if you can afford to buy and maintain the property. Here is what to pay attention to when deciding whether to buy or not and what to expect.

If Relocating to a Bigger Place, Expect Higher Utility Bills

The bigger the place, the higher the utility bills. Electricity, heating, water, garbage disposal, internet, and all other utilities will cost you more. However, higher square footage and commodities are worth it. Just make sure to be able to cover these costs!

Garden Maintenance Costs Are Another Element to Include in Budget

A vital difference between living in an apartment and living in a house is maintenance costs. While living in an apartment entails sharing all the maintenance expenses with other tenants, living in a house means you’ll have to cover it all by yourself. Garden maintenance, lawn mowing, gutter cleaning, pool maintenance, air conditioning, or furnace filters – everything needs to be done and paid for.

If you want to see a couple of creative ideas on garden landscaping, take a look at the video below!

Depending on the Location, Your Transportation Costs Can Vary

When moving to a big city, higher transportation costs are something to expect, especially if you’re relocating to the suburbs. The further away the place is, the higher the costs, so consider if those two match your expectations.

The Cost Related to a Home Inspection Will Affect the Final Expenses

If you’re moving out for the first time, you should be prepared to pay for an in-detail inspection. Moreover, it is highly recommended to hire professional inspectors whose services cost around $290 to $600, depending on the area you relocate to and size of the place. Their check will cover all critical areas and reveal the following:

  • Potential problems with foundation, flooring, or roof,
  • Condition of the plumbing and electrical system, appliances, fireplace, HVAC system,
  • The general state of the interior and exterior,
  • Report on termites, asbestos, mold, or radon – which might come at an extra cost.
use a piggy bank to boost savings for interstate moving
Include the tiniest details in the budget and be sure you can cover everything

Tip #5: Explore the Surroundings – An Indispensable Element to Include in the House Hunt Checklist

Before making a final decision, explore the area you’re relocating to and see how it matches your needs and expectations. This is a must in any case, and when relocating your family to another state, it is even more important. Moving with kids implies checking if there is a school or a daycare in the vicinity, enough green areas, and parks, or how safe the neighborhood is.

Exploring the environment is another thing to do when moving to a new state after you relocate there. This way, you’ll get to know the area better, meet many new people, and start adjusting to the community.

exploring the area after interstate moving is must-do
Explore the area to adjust to the community easier

Tip #6: Hiring a Reliable Real Estate Agent Is the Best Way to Streamline the Whole Process

Finding a perfect home is pretty complex to do, so if you want to speed up the process, hiring a real estate agent is definitely a good decision. The realtor will take you through the whole process once you present all your needs and priorities, showing what suits you best.

Of course, finding a trustworthy agent is a vital thing to do, especially when relocating to another state alone. So before deciding whose services to use, ensure to compare the services and prices of at least two different real estate agents.

Are There Any Serious Issues to Take Care of Before the Move-In?

By law, a real estate agent is obliged to inform the potential buyers if there are some major works to be done. This includes renovations like installations, roofs, or foundations, so don’t skip this question before putting in an offer!

a real estate agent holding a sale sign, waiting for clients to show up
A real estate agent will take you through the whole experience of choosing the place to buy!

Tip #7: Follow Our Ultimate House Hunting Tips Checklist!

If you follow our moving tips on what to do when you move to a new state and how to organize your move, the whole process will be considerably easier and less stressful. So if you want a stress-free move, make sure to consider everything we listed above and take the first step towards finding a new home!

    Get a Free Estimate Call: 818-296-9162