12 Questions to Answer BEFORE You Step Foot in an Open House
In the series, How to Find the Right Home for You and Your Budget, you’ll learn how to find a home that is the right fit for your lifestyle, needs and, most importantly, your budget. My goal is to take you through every single step and show you how to make a smart real estate decision.
We all do it. We finally feel ready to buy a home, the time is right, we feel like we have saved enough for a down payment, AND we then assume the next logical step is to get online and find some open houses to go to.
Resist that urge.
Yep, I tell my clients to NOT start looking around at homes immediately!
Seem counterintuitive? I know.
But, here’s what happens…once you step inside a house this process begins to speed up. I want my clients to know the answers to some very important questions first. I want you first to define and picture the life you want to live and a home that will match it.
Many agents don’t approach home buying this way, that’s ok…maybe this isn’t the right approach for you either. What I have found after working with many clients is a little “self-analysis” will lead you to the RIGHT home purchase — for you, for your lifestyle, and for your budget… Helping you to make a SMART real estate decision.
Here are 12 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Step Foot in an Open House:
1.) How long do you plan to live in this next home (and also how long will you own this home if you plan on renting it out after you move out)?
This is THE absolute most important question to answer honestly since it will affect the rest of your home-buying search. You must answer this question first before you continue to the others.
2.) What will your life look like during that timeframe?
Answering this question will help you determine what purpose your home will serve, most specifically your wants and needs at that stage of your life. Plus, you’ll determine what your #1 driver (or reason) for buying a home now and for the time period you want to own that home.
3.) What about your current daily life do you love and are not willing to give up?
For example, do you love being able to work from home? Do you love going to your local coffee house every day and enjoy local conveniences? Do you like to go for runs outside or hit the gym instead? What is your actual reality day-to-day that you don’t want to sacrifice if you can?
4.) Are you more of a “homebody” or more of a “night-out-on-the-town” kind of person?
Knowing the answer to this question will help you determine how much space you need. If you never have people over, then why have a huge space for that dining table you never use? But, if you rather cook dinner for friends than bar hop, then don’t give up your dream of having enough room to make this desire a reality.
5.) How does your commute factor into your home buying decision?
This question will help you determine location…Houston is a BIG CITY with some killer commutes. Knowing what your desired commute time is can help us zone in on location.
6.) What are your personal and financial goals during the timeframe you are going to be living in this new home?
For example, do you plan to change jobs at some point so that your finances may change – a possible increase or decrease in salary? You don’t want to have a mortgage that binds you to your current job, especially if your goal is to switch to a less stressful work life while living there.
7.) What are your hobbies and how will they impact your life while you live in this home?
Confused? For example, would you prefer to live in a less expensive, possibly smaller home so you have the funds to travel the world or even for a favorite hobby … (think scuba diving, travel photography, etc.)?
Or, do you want to live in a master planned community that offers trails for running and hiking, or lakes for kayaking and boating? There are some great options in Cypress for all of these activities!
8.) Do you consider yourself a “location person” or a “house person”?
SO important! Some people get more excited about the local amenities than the features inside their home? Usually people tend to be more one than the other. Which are you? What do you tend to gravitate toward?
For example, would you rather be near the highest rated schools and neighborhoods with amenities such as swimming pools and tennis courts? Then location could be more important to you.
On the other hand, if having lots of inside space, an awesome chef’s kitchen, and a Jacuzzi bathtub gets you all excited rather than any particular neighborhood, than you are more of a house person.
9.) Are schools in the neighborhood a factor for this home purchase?
Speaking of schools…Even if you don’t have school aged children, it’s a question worth asking since homes in better school districts tend to appreciate more in value.
If you have young children or plan to start a family in the near future, then getting yourself educated about schools will be important. Check out the Cy-Fair Real Estate School Ranking Page here.
10.) What is there about your current home that you would like to change or be different in your next home?
What is lacking in your current home? For example, not enough closet space or counter space in the kitchen. And, on the flip side, what is the absolute most important, can’t-live-without it, deal breaker thing you MUST have? (We all have one.) Maybe you really want that primary bedroom suite or a large eat-in kitchen, maybe a third garage bay or a pool?
11.) Describe your ideal scenario when it comes to your home purchase.
Timing, Purchase Price, Location, Questions you would like to know the answers to…Get out a piece of paper and write down your ideal situation. We can review this together. One way to help this process move along smoothly is to set the appropriate expectations…if I know what your ideal scenario is, we can have good communication about what is happening in the current market.
12.) What would you be willing to you compromise on in a home?
Most of the time the pieces fall in to place beautifully and my clients can get most of what they are looking for in their new home. After looking over your answers to these questions…what are things are most important and what things are you willing to compromise on? There are no wrong answers here…but remember what I mentioned earlier, once we step inside a house this process can speed up. I want to be clear on your most important items to help you make a smart real estate decision.
Congrats on answering all of these questions and hopefully it sparked some additional self-analysis that will help you find the RIGHT home! Next week, we’ll take a closer look at whether you are a “location” person or a “house” person. It’s your leading compass on where and what you will look at when you start house hunting.
I'm Jennifer Mestayer (Med-E-A) and I love helping Cypress families buy and sell their
homes as they move through the varying stages of life. From first homes to forever homes...
Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true.
Cy-Fair Real Estate
16718 House & Haul Rd, St N
Cypress, TX 77433
schedule your free consultation