Most of the time when I work with a real estate client, it is with someone who is a first time homebuyer. This isn't surprising, since there aren't a whole lot of people who do multiple real estate transactions in their lifetimes. The vast majority of people only do this once or twice. This series of posts is for those of you who are entering the home buying process for the first time, or for anyone who wants a refresher.
So you've decided to buy a home. Hopefully you've contacted a local bank or other mortgage source to find out what you qualify for. You might or might not have selected a buyer's agent to help you through the process. And you have spent some real time thinking about what you want vs. need in your new home. Now it's time to actively start looking at homes. Preferably, you'll do this with a buyer's agent since if you find a place you like you'll want to be able to put in your offer quickly.
Looking at homes can be stressful, especially in a competitive market when your only chance to get inside before making an offer might be at a crowded open house. Even an experienced agent can miss important details in that kind of situation. To help make sure I didn't miss anything on showings, I created a short checklist for myself. I've now expanded that checklist into a more robust list that will hopefully be useful for you as you look at houses. This list is not intended to replace a home inspection, merely to help you get a good idea of what issues the house might have.
There are 3 ways to access the checklist. The first is by filling it out on google forms. If you do that, and you enter your email address, you'll get a PDF of the form with your answers when you've finished it. If you prefer to print it out and take it with you, I have included two PDFs. One is the long version, which includes all of my notes and spaces for answers and runs to 12 pages. Since that might be a little bit cumbersome, I have also condensed it to a simple 2 page list of questions that you can glance at as you walk through the home.
Even though there are a lot of questions, it isn't intended to take you a long time to fill out. In fact, you don't really need to fill it out at all, it's really just meant to act as a guide to help you make sure that you've looked at the big ticket items on your brief visit.
If you want to fill out the form online, you should be able to do so below. If the embedded version doesn't work for some reason, click here to go to the form on its own page.
To download the 12-page PDF of the questions with explanatory text, click here.
To download the short 2-page summary PDF of just the questions, click here.