House hunting is an exciting part of the homebuying experience. Each home you visit could be somewhere you build memories the rest of your life.
However, before you start your house-hunting expedition, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared to make the most of the experience. Use the list below to stay organized and help you find your next home.
Notepad and pen
While you may have a great memory, it is easy to get confused if you’re looking at multiple homes in one day. Bringing a notepad with a pen or pencil allows you to take notes on each house you view, including on things you liked and disliked, and you can even sketch the floor plan. You don’t have to be an artist to draw a floor plan; just start at the front door and draw boxes for each room, marking the location of windows, doors, and stairs. If you don’t feel like bringing a notepad, take notes digitally on your phone. By jotting down your thoughts, you’ll be ready for a deep dive if you come back for another viewing.
If there are certain features you’re searching for in a home, it’s helpful to create a checklist beforehand. Whether you want a certain number of bathrooms or a large backyard, it’s helpful to have everything your household is looking for in a new home in front of you. After you’re done house hunting for the day, this is an easy way to separate homes that you’ll want to see again from homes that don’t fit your needs or wants.
If you know the properties you plan to visit during your house-hunting trip, you can bring along the online listings of the homes. By doing so, you’ll have a rundown of everything you need to know about the home, from when it was built to how many square feet it is. Having this info readily available may reduce the number of notes you have to take, giving you time to focus on features not in the listing or that are particularly important to you.
Camera or phone
You may have seen numerous photos of the home online before visiting the property, but you’ll likely want to grab a few pictures of things you didn’t see before. These may include small details like crown molding or flaws like a crack in the basement wall. If you’re taking notes, you can match the photos to things you wrote down. However, speak to your agent about taking photos in a home before doing so. You are in someone’s house, and you should respect their privacy.
Whether it’s a sectional sofa or a grand piano, you may have large or oddly shaped items you’ll be moving into your next home. By bringing measuring tape along with the item’s dimensions, you’ll have an idea how your belongings will fit into the home. Even if you think your items will fit, it is better to make sure. This won’t be needed for every house, but if you think it’s a contender, measure the space.
If you want a better look at a dimly lit area like an attic, crawl space, or basement, a small flashlight can come in handy. While your phone has a built-in flashlight, it is helpful to bring a separate flashlight that has more power.
It gets tiring going from house to house, so wear shoes you’re comfortable walking around in. You may also be required to take your shoes off before going into some homes, so make sure they are easy to remove. Don’t forget socks so you’re not walking around a stranger’s home in bare feet.
Preparation is key when you’re searching for your next home, so use this checklist to your advantage to make your house hunt a successful one.