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Top 10 Things to Look for When Buying a House

Monday, December 8, 2014   /   by Jen Koenig

Top 10 Things to Look for When Buying a House

As of today, there are 16,074 properties on the market in the South Central Wisconsin area. If we only look at, say, homes under $350,000 with a minimum of 3 bedrooms, we're still left with 5,467 active listings. That's way too many homes to look at in a property search.  But how do you narrow it down? How do you figure out what makes up your perfect home?


Most people have a basic idea of what they want. They have an idea of the city, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, yard size, and square footage they're searching for. What can be harder, though, is figuring out what smaller details are important to you. 


My husband and I recently decided to get a dog. We thought we knew exactly what we were looking for - size, age, well-trained, etc. We went to the Humane Society and told them all our requirements. They brought out a beautiful dog who 100% hit everything on our checklist. She was super well-behaved, just the right size, and one of our favorite breeds. However, something wasn't quite right, and we weren't sure what it was.  On our way out, a different dog excitedly ran over to greet us. This dog was not the right breed nor the right size, but we instantly fell in love. What we hadn't realized was we had left something important off of our checklist: personality. And that ended up being the most important factor for us. 


Unfortunately we took too long to figure out what we needed, and the dog we fell in love with was adopted by someone else. This is something that happens in the real estate market as well: you think you know exactly what you want, you go see what should be "the" home, it turns out it's not all you hoped for, and a home you hadn't considered that would've been perfect gets bought out from under you.


Below is an article that'll help you narrow down what you're looking for ahead of time so you're much more focused in your search.  It talks about some of the things people forget to think about when house hunting, such as what kind of floor plan is right for you and what kind of windows and lighting you're looking for.  Another thing that will help you tremendously is working with the right agent.  Our Buyer Specialists are experts not only because they are experienced in the home buying process, but because they are expert listeners.  They will work with you to really figure out what you are looking for, and they'll go above and beyond to make sure you find it.


One last piece of advice: keep the communication with your agent going! Be open and honest about what you love and don't love about a particular property. The more information your agent has, the better able to help you they are.


"10) Finishing Touches
Sometimes the simplest home looks spectacular because of the installation of moldings, hardware and a fireplace. If these elements are important to you, look for them while house hunting or be ready to add them after you move in."