3 Tips to Improve Your Home Search

by Jan Kennemer 01/01/2023

Finding the perfect home takes plenty of strategy and careful thought. However, with so many important factors to consider, the process can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to make your house hunting journey simpler:

Prioritize price

It's easy to feel discouraged if you don't immediately find options in your price range. Budget is likely at the top of your mind when house hunting, but don't let a number deter you from continuing your search. Housing markets are always changing, meaning price and availability fluctuation. This makes working with a real estate agent extremely beneficial, as they can provide expert advice and often find listings you might otherwise miss. Compromising on price is always an option, but don't give up if your numbers don't match the market right away.

Know what you can change

It's common to find a house that meets your criteria but has unappealing features. Things like decor, paint color and landscaping can be distracting, especially if they don't match your taste. However, you can always repaint and replant a garden after buying the home, so don't let unappealing details keep you from choosing an otherwise perfect home.

It's also important to know what aspects of a home you can't change, such as the location, neighborhood and architectural style. If any of these major issues arise in your home search, it might be time to consider other options.

Ask questions

When you tour a house either in-person or virtually, it's crucial to ask questions. Whether you communicate with an agent or the seller directly, inquire about things you wouldn't learn from a visit. Some examples of good questions to ask include:

When were major systems or appliances last updated or replaced? (Plumbing, HVAC, dishwasher, etc)

How old is the roof?

How comfortable is the house during hot or cold weather?

What exactly is included in the sale? (Light fixtures, window treatments, appliances)

Questions like these can help you identify potential issues or hidden benefits. Try making a list of questions to ask beforehand to help you remember the basics and inquire about other details as they arise.

House hunting is different for everyone. While most buyers follow the same basic steps, the experience varies dramatically depending on your focus. Keep these tips in mind during your home search to make the best decision.

About the Author

Jan Kennemer

Jan will show you how you can live close to Washington, DC – by public transit and/or highway – and still enjoy all the many amenities and friendliness of a quiet community. Jan is a life-long resident of Arlington, Va. So, she is very familiar with northern Virginia …Arlington, Falls Church, Alexandria and close-in Fairfax. She knows where to find those little out-of the-way places where you will still get excellent value and a home that meets your needs. As a Realtor® for over 20 years, Jan has developed a customized system for marketing and selling properties which includes the latest technologies combined with tried and true practices. She has received special training in working with first time buyers, repeat buyers and seniors. She is a certified VHDA trainer and is certified as a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES©). Jan is also a certified e-Pro. She gets results you want – the best price in the shortest time. Jan is dedicated to helping clients satisfy their needs and wants while providing them with a strong investment for the future. She is readily available to provide explanations and information. She won’t push you into making an uncomfortable choice. Jan helps you to fully understand the transaction, so that you can always make an informed decision based on facts and figures.