November 16th, 2011 7:33 PM by Dave Gubler
In the first part of this series we discussed the value in getting Pre-Qualified for a home loan. The second vital key, in my humble opinion, to effective home buying is to establish well defined search criteria.
Key #2: Define Your Criteria (Must Have & Like To Haves)
"It's very simple Dave; I'm looking for a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home in the Lake Forest area." Searching the handy-dandy Multiple Listing Service (MLS) I calmly let you know that there are nearly 200 homes for sale at this time that meet those criteria.
Do we really want to tour 200 homes?
"Well then Dave... How about 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom homes priced between $550,000 and $600,000 without a pool and at least a 3 car garage?" A few clicks later and it is revealed that there are 25 homes for sale that meet these criteria.
You CAN tour 25 homes! Narrow it down a bit more by Elementary School or say... homes built after 1990 and you can really narrow it down to 6 or 7 homes. We can tour those in a couple of hours!
First determine what you MUST have in a house. How many homes meet these criteria? Then add what you would LIKE to have in a house. How many homes meet this test? Start with the homes that satisfy your MUST have and LIKE to have criteria and work your way in to those that only meet the MUST have criteria if needed.
Remember to talk to your agent (me) about what you MUST HAVE what you would LIKE TO HAVE. And don't forget to let me know what you CAN'T HAVE! This will eliminate time wasted on homes that you simply won't consider.
It's OK too if you don't really have your MUST, LIKE TO, and CAN"T HAVES worked out completely. Sometimes you have to get out there and see some homes before you know these. Refining your criteria is part of the process! The better job you do at this the less time you will spend wandering aimlessly in the housing jungle.
In the next installment of The 6 Keys To Effective Home Buying we'll discuss...
Key #3: Be Pragmatic (Wake Up And Smell The Coffee?)