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5 ways to know if you’ve found the right house

5th November 2020 Print

Shopping for a house can be a time-consuming, stressful, and emotional process - particularly if you’re shopping with a partner. But how do you know when you’ve finally stumbled on the right one?

5 Signs You’ve Found Your House

The house hunting process can feel overwhelming, intimidating, and downright hectic at times. And while it might feel like you’re alone, it’s a reality for many. Very few people see one house, put in an offer, and get the offer accepted right away. It takes lots of time and plenty of looking.

As mentions, “The average homebuyers will visit 10 homes over 10 weeks' time before they find ‘the one’ - that special place that inspires an offer. But that number can vary widely: Some may fall in love with the first place they see, while others feel compelled to check out several dozen.”

Personal preferences, budget, current inventory, and larger economic factors will all play a role in how easy or difficult it is to zero in on the right property. Don’t be dismayed if your search stretches on for weeks. Because once you do find the right property, you’ll know it.

Here are some signs:

1. The Price is Right

Most homebuyers set a budget prior to beginning the process. But the longer the process stretches on, the more malleable that number often becomes. This can result in compromised decision making. 

“It’s only a few thousand outside of my budget.”

“It would only increase my monthly payment by $150.”

“This is the last home I’m ever going to buy. I can afford to overpay.”

“My original budget was far too conservative for this market.”

“It’s impossible to get everything I want at this price point - I have to spend more.”

If you find yourself saying any variation of these statements, it’s unlikely that this is your dream house. You might like the house, but it’s probably not a good fit. However, when you finally do find a house that you like and you don’t have to justify an offer, you’ve probably found the one.

2. Good Property Report

It’s helpful to pull a property report on any house that you’re seriously interested in. This report will help you gain insights into local property values and other pertinent factors that could impact your offer. 

If the property report comes back with favorable numbers, you’re on the right track. If it tells you that the property is way overvalued (or there are other compromising factors), you’ll want to adjust your offer or keep looking. 

3. Needs Before Wants

It’s always helpful to have a list of needs and wants when buying a house - and they should be clearly separated. The right house will check off all of your needs and also satisfy a few of the wants. However, needs always come first! Make sure you’re referencing this list and checking it twice.

4. Good Neighborhood 

Consider the neighborhood. Is there a good community feel? Do the neighbors take care of their yards? If you’re interested, is there a swimming pool or playground? A good neighborhood is the “X” factor that can take a good house and make it a great house. It’s also excellent for future resale value.

5. Upward Swing

Look beyond the individual neighborhood or street and consider the larger neighborhood - meaning the part of town where it’s located. What direction is this area taking? 

Most areas are either improving or declining - very few neighborhoods are stagnant. If the house you’re interested in is situated in a neighborhood that’s on an upward swing, this is a sign that you’re making a smart decision.

Make a Smart Decision

The final decision is up to you. Other people can offer their opinions, but it’s ultimately your call. If there are still serious doubts in the back of your mind, it’s wise to take a step back and remove yourself from the heat of the moment. Emotional buying rarely leads to a smart decision. Be as objective as possible, using the information in this article as a helpful filter.