As you shop for a home, you probably wonder just how many you should look at before you make an offer. What if you fall in love with the first home you find? What if you have looked at what feels like hundreds of homes and you can’t find ‘the one’?
There isn’t a secret formula you must follow or a certain number of homes you have to see before you make an offer. Instead, you need to consider what is right for you. Before you hunt for a house, do the following.
Make a List of your Needs
What do you absolutely need in a house? In other words, what can you not live without? This will help you rule out the homes that just don’t meet your needs. You’ll know within the first few minutes of being inside the home whether it works or not. If the first home you visit doesn’t have the features you need, cross it off your list. You can then move onto the next one on your list. If you do see what you want, add it to the ‘maybe’ list and keep looking.
Make a List of Your Wants
After you decide what you need, decide what you want in a house. These aren’t things that you can’t live without. Instead, it’s things that you would like to have, but can do without if necessary. In other words, if you were to find the home that had all of you needs, but none of your wants, it still may be the home you buy.
Know the Neighborhood you Want
Before you even shop for a home, you may want to shop for a neighborhood. What type of area did you see yourself living in? Is it a neighborhood with a school in it? Do you prefer city living? Would you rather be out by yourself on an acre of land? This will help you decide where you even want to look. There’s no sense in looking in areas that you don’t want to live. No matter how perfect the home is, if you don’t love the area, you will not learn to love the home.
Once you know the areas you would like to live, you can focus your home search in those areas. This way you don’t waste time and resources looking in areas that you wouldn’t’ live in the first place.
Shop for Your Home
Once you have all of the ‘lists’ nailed down, it’s time to shop for a home. You may find that once you start, the first home that you walk into is the one that you buy. Is this a bad thing? Absolutely not! If it speaks to you and meets at least your ‘needs’ list, you are in good shape. Of course, it’s an added bonus if it has some of your ‘wants.’
If you don’t find the right home on the first try, just keep going. On average, buyers look at 10 houses before they settle on a house. It may be the very first house they looked at after all, but they feel better knowing that they looked at many houses before deciding.
Again, there is no right or wrong number of houses to look at when buying a home. It depends on the market, your tastes, and your budget. The right home will come along eventually. Until then, keep shopping until you find the house that you want to call a home.