Visiting Homes

Now, as you begin seriously visiting homes, you’ll see for yourself, just what’s out there.

You should probably plan to spend at least several days here. You will not be visiting houses you and your Realtor have found every minute of every day, I hope. But, if you’ve done your home-work, you’ll visit your new home during this time! It doesn’t get more exciting! You’ll need time for the decision and paperwork, as well as some time just to kick back, if possible.

I realize it's not always possible. I've had clients fly in, rent a car, look at houses for a couple of hours, choose one and fly home! NOT what I recommend, if at all possible!

Try to relax. Do not plan to see too many homes. Visiting homes is hard work. Five in one day should be the maximum. More than that and you start getting confused and very stressed. See two or three in the morning, take a nice lunch break, then another two or three in the afternoon.

Be sure you give your Realtor plenty of notice about your trip because s/he not only has to put you in her/his schedule, but also make appointments to visit homes.

Before you come you need to narrow your list down to the places that really fit what you want.

Well, let me modify that a little. If you insist on everything you want, which I can understand, you may have to build from scratch to get it. And if you do have a long list of high priority needs, you’ll want to consider doing that. Otherwise, be realistic and know it’s not likely you’ll find a place that has everything exactly as you want it.

My point, however, is... not go look at places that compromise your needs and wants list just because they look nice or interesting. Only visit homes that are serious contenders for your nest – places that will really support your unique lifestyle. Focus.

What you’ll need…

  • You’ll need your notebook with all your research organized.
  • A clipboard to carry with you while visiting homes to take good notes.
  • Your camera to remind you of what you’re seeing – figure out how to know which photos go with which house.
  • A tape measure – your realtor may also have one. You may want to know how your furniture is going to fit.
  • A compass, if you care about where the sun rises and sets.
  • Your furnitureno, don’t really bring that yet! But you may want to bring a list of what you have and the dimensions to see how it will fit. You could take a lot of photos of your current home, inside and out, to help you visualize it in your new home.
  • Don’t forget some water and a snack!

Begin with the most likely homes. You may only need to see two or three. If you’ve really followed this strategy, you probably just have about ten homes at the most to visit.

Plan to spend some time doing something fun in the evening. Treat yourself to an Asheville restaurant. Discuss the day, but don’t get indigestion over it. Walk around downtown. Get an ice cream cone or a locally brewed Asheville beer, or both at one of my favorite places, the French Broad Chocolate Lounge! Then go get a good night’s sleep at your hotel or B&B.

In the morning, get out your notes and discuss what you did or did not like about the homes you visited the previous day. Did one of the homes meet your needs and wants? Why not? If one did, are you ready to make an offer? If not, why not? Try to figure it out. Explain it to your Realtor. You may have some needs and wants you hadn’t thought of and new criteria need to be used.

Don’t look at any more houses than you have to. You can spend weeks looking at every possibility. The more you see the more confusing it gets and the less productive.

Just one more step to go!!!

On to Step 10 - Choose a Home

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