House Hunting – House Hunting

House Hunting – House Hunting

The actual physical looking at houses portion of house hunting, is one of the funnest, and most glamorized. As evidenced by the incredibly popular TV show House Hunters and web sites such as Houzz. This is not to say that it is a stress free process. Buying a house for most people, is one of the biggest purchases that will ever be made in terms of amount of money spent. Below are ways to ensure that the house tour aspect of house hunting is as stress free as possible.

  • Past will influence style choices: The style of house lived in while growing up, will influence the style of house that is being sought after for purchase. This does add difficulty when more then one person or a family grouping is involved in the purchasing process. Budget and location, do weigh heavily on this. A good way to work through this is to view houses that meet the criteria of a previously compiled wish list.
  • Don’t get caught up in the details: There are many details and specifications that can be thrown around in describing a house. square footage, BTU’s, brand of dishwasher, etc. These numbers are important, but focusing on them will detract from other aspects such as lifestyle, and functionality considerations.
  • Does it feel like home: It is very hard to describe, but it is not unusual to like or dislike a house based purely on a gut reaction.
  • Take a second look with tape measure and flashlight: After viewing a few houses, the focus will start to narrow towards a few specific houses. A tape measure can be used to see if current furniture piece will fit in a living room, or is a King Size bed will be able to fit in a stairwell for a second floor bedroom.
  • Most Import: Have Fun!

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House Hunting – Kicking the Tires

A wishlist has been generated, and mortgage preapproval has been successfully sought. The next step in the house hunting process can be difficult, it is the decision if this is right time to contact a realtor to put current house on market or to buy a new house. In some cases the decision is easy, such as a geographic change in employment, or the addition of a child to the household. Other situations allow for a greater amount of time to browse such as having a few months left on a lease, or a few years out from retiring and are looking for a house to downsize. Continue reading below for criteria to decide on best time to either begin buying or selling current house.

  • The budget is already set, based on the information contained within the mortgage preapproval letter. Looking online is one of the easiest ways to determine the style, location, and amenities that fit with your budget.
  • When setting minimum or maximum dollar amounts searching online, always go a little higher or lower to ensure capturing the listings that are very close to your maximum or minimum budget amount.
  • If house hunting locally, drive around neighborhoods and see if you like the lifestyle and types of homes that are for sale within your budget.
  • Open houses are a great way to sample the interior of houses within specific neighborhoods. It is also a great way to meet perspective realtors. If the realtor is engaging, and open about discussing the features of the house, that specific realtor may be worth adding to a short list of perspective realtors.
  • If looking to sell current house, and have not worked with a specific realtor before, interviewing perspective realtors is an excellent idea.

Interviewing Realtors

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First Time Home Buying – the Wishlist

When a business puts together a budget for the next fiscal year, one of the first steps in the budget process is to put together a wishlist. The wishlist encompasses items that the business would like to purchase, or funding for new programs and initiatives. The same is true when buying a house. A wishlist can be created of all the desired features and amenities. Not all wishlist items in a budget for a business will be funded, nor will ever item on a first time home buyers wish list be fulfilled.

Endless hours can be spent debating the merits of each wishlist item amongst the prospective home buyers, but sometimes the process of house hunting is the easiest way to narrow the list. Budget and location often dictate the type of amenity or feature that is present within a house. If there are still many items on the wishlist not being fulfilled, a needs and wants assessment can be performed. A desire for a breakfast nook to sip coffee in the morning, when the person doesn’t drink coffee on a regular basis, could be easily crossed off of the wishlist.

Below are excellent videos for more information on effective wishlist creation.

First Time Home Buying Tips

More First Time Home Buying Tips

Do’s and Dont’s When Buying a Home

If looking to buy or sell a home, that meets your wishlist needs, contact me.

Parlors, Living Rooms, and Family Rooms Oh My!

Parlors, Living Rooms, and Family Rooms Oh My!

Recently, I was doing an open house at an historical home and one of the attendees asked me, what is the difference between a parlor and a sitting room. I said the parlor is kind of like a living room, and the sitting room is the equivalent of a family room. I did a little more research, and discovered the history of parlors, along with living rooms and family rooms, is actually very fascinating.


Usually located just off the foyer, the parlor was a room to display a families wealth and social status. In the Victorian era, clutter equaled class. Women were often responsible for filling the room with exotic and expensive nick-knacks such as vases, lamps teapots, statues and dried flower. It was also the room people gathered to play games, socialize and generally relax.

Family Room

From Wikipedia: The term family room was introduced in the 1945 book Tomorrow’s House by George Nelson and Henry Wright.[4] Chapter 7, entitled “The Room Without a Name” spoke of the need in modern life for a new “biggest room in the house” that would serve the social and recreational needs of the entire family, allowing activities that would not be permitted in the living room.

Living Room

The term “living room” did not enter into common vernacular until 1918. Just previous to 1918 it was know as the “death room”. The great flu epidemic of 1918 killed millions of people worldwide, and bodies were kept in the front room of the house for mourning, before removing the body for funeral purposes. Thus the term “death room” was coined. The amount of people dying from the flu did taper off, and a new term was proposed.

From the web site Reflections…: The Ladies Home Journal suggested that this room was no more a death room. As it was used for various activities of the house and was more a lively place than a mourning room, it should be called ‘the Living Room’. Thus, the use of the term spread in common people.

If looking to buy or sell a home, that has a “lively” living room and family room, contact me.