You know the feeling when you struggle to find something to watch on Netflix because it’s just so overwhelming with the number of shows and movies to choose from?
Well the same thing can happen when it comes to house hunting! There are so many real estate websites and so many houses to look at. Digging through countless websites, having your phone glued to your hand, constantly hitting refresh to make sure you don’t miss anything can get a little tiring. Instead, there is a simple method you can implement to make it a whole lot easier. When you learn how to house hunt “Netflix style” it’ll save you plenty of time and prevent those feelings of overwhelm – we promise! So here’s how to do it!
Step 1 – Find your Homestyle Genre: This is about going beyond the general criteria of 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a 2,500sqm section. This is about diving deep and figuring out exactly what you’re looking for in a house. Ask yourself questions such as:
-Which space in a house is most important to you?
-Which room will you spend the most time in? Is the living room where you’ll spend quality time every night or is the outdoor space more important because you want to be surrounded by nature and have ensured privacy?
-Next think about words that would describe your ideal home. Do words like cozy and full of character come to mind? Or does modern and luxury sound more like your taste?
-What is a space or feature you don’t currently have but would love to have? More space to entertain? A private section with mature trees? A designated home office space that will allow you to do more focused work?
By thinking outside the box about the lifestyle you want your future home to provide, you’ll begin to paint a better picture of which home features to pay more attention to and which style of home will be the best fit.
STEP 2 – Determine What’s Trending: Just like Netflix gives you a list of “Trending movies” you’re going to make your own list of what’s trending when it comes to what is important to you in your future home. After writing down answers to the previous questions, create a list of your top 3 home must haves and deal breakers. Next you’re going to review everything you wrote down. Do you see any themes or details that pinpoint the type of house you are going to fall in love with aside from the number of bedrooms? Your list could be painting a picture of an open concept style home with lots of storage and natural light. Or maybe your style is a home with more separated spaces with a major focus on the style and layout of the kitchen.
STEP 3 – Create Your Home List Based on Your Preferences: Before starting this step, you’ll want to make sure you’re working with a Real Estate Agent (lucky you, we know some good ones!) so they can set up your custom home search for you. They will take all of the general criteria that you’re looking for and customize your home search so that you can will receive a list of all the homes on the market that match the main criteria you’re looking for. This is where it’ll narrow down your minimums for bedrooms, baths, section size, floorplan, year built, etc.
This is also the time you may want to browse through any other sites that you’ve been searching on and write down any homes you’ve had your eye on so you can bring everything together with your real estate agent.
STEP 4 – Preview Homes: Once you’ve compiled the entire list of homes that meet your search criteria you’re going to want to preview them online before scheduling a showing! Looking at homes online is considered a first showing because there is so much you can see and learn about a home before ever stepping foot in the house. When you’re previewing the homes, have the list of the questions you answered handy so you can see which ones fit what you’re truly looking for. If a common theme was entertaining space and open concept rooms – you’ll probably want to avoid homes that have a smaller kitchen and living area or lack open areas.
STEP 5 – Narrow the List Down to Your Top 5: Here’s an example of how this looks: Let’s say your favorite space in a home is the living room, you want a house with lots of character and charm and your deal breaker is a new subdivision. Along with that, you need at least 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms.
When your custom search comes up with the list of homes and one of the homes meets the 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths criteria but was built last year in a new subdivision of homes with the same builder, all on quarter acre sections and has a smaller living room, you’ll probably want to consider eliminating this one because it isn’t meeting your main needs.
After previewing the homes and comparing each one to what you have on your list, it’s time to narrow the list of homes down to your “Top 5”. These are the 5 homes you’ll want to schedule showings for and begin your search with. From there, if none of those work for you, keep your search going this same way. Watch for new homes to hit the market (like the new releases on Netflix) and if they meet your detailed criteria, set up a showing!
By house hunting with this method, you’ll eliminate the stress of feeling like you need to see every single 3 bedroom, 2 bath home when you truly know what you’re looking for and can eliminate many of them online. That way when you schedule a showing to see a home that truly fits what you want, you’ll know what to look for instead of becoming overwhelmed with all of the other homes that really don’t meet your needs at all.
Still not sure, that’s no problem. Just like suggestions on what to watch on Netflix - I’m a bit of a Suits and MadMen kind of guy, with a bit of Narcos and Selling Sunset thrown in… Feel free to get in touch with us and we’re happy to sit down with you and (no, not Netflix and chill!) talk about what it is exactly you’re looking for. Let’s catch up soon.
Paul, Shontelle, Susie. x
If you’ve been thinking about buying your first home, chances are you’re getting tons of advice from everyone you mention it to. It can be pretty overwhelming, which is why I want to share 3 home buying myths you need to know if you’re considering homeownership. These will help debunk some of the things you may be hearing from people who want to give their advice from the kindness of their hearts but probably aren’t professionals.
MYTH #1: You Have to Put 20% Down to Purchase a Home
This could be the biggest home buying myth of all time! Putting a minimum of 20% down on a house does have some financial benefits .. BUT it isn’t required all the time.
There are several options when it comes to financing your home so you’ll want to meet with a local lender to discuss these options before jumping head first into the process.
There are loans that require as little as 5% down as well as resources for buyers struggling with getting a lump sum together. Combined with first time home buyer programs, you might be closer than you think to owning your own home!
Pro Tip: Do not get pre-approved from an online lender. Find someone local who you can actually sit down with, understand your options and make the best decision for your financial future.
MYTH #2: It Doesn’t Matter if I Don’t Have a Real Estate Agent
Some buyers prefer not to commit to working with one specific agent and therefore they don’t take advantage of having an agent to help them with their home purchase. This means they’re on their own for scheduling showings, being alerted of new listings, and when it comes time to negotiations, they won’t have anyone working with them.
This is not a great combination because it can prevent you from getting an accepted offer on the house you really love because you haven’t been educated on the market or how quickly you need to make a move. I don’t know about you but if I’m buying my first house, or any house for that matter, that doesn't sound like a situation I’d want to be in.
MYTH #3: Wait Until “Spring” to Start Looking For Homes
Real Estate Agents hear this ALL. THE. TIME. I want to share why you shouldn’t wait for a specific time of year to start your home search, especially Spring.
There is less competition when you’re not in the prime months for buying and selling real estate. Buying in the “off season” could save you money because there are less buyers around which means less potential competition when writing an offer. It’s best to start your home search when you are ready rather than waiting for a certain time of year. There are always new listings coming on the market and you could be missing your perfect house if you want to start your search until a specific time of year.
If you’re considering homeownership, you’re already ahead of the game by knowing about these 3 myths. Your next step should be to sit down with a local Real Estate Agent who can go over the entire process with you and set you up for success.
Whenever anyone mentions that they’re thinking of putting their house up for sale in Whangarei it seems that everyone wants to give their opinions on the subject. Because of that, a lot of myths have developed that seem to go around all over the place. Let’s debunk those myths so that when you’re ready to sell, you know the facts!
MYTH #1: Automated Home Evaluations Are Always Accurate.
Have you ever seen an Ad on Facebook that says “CLICK HERE to automatically determine your home’s market value” or something along those lines? If the answer is yes, I promise you’re not alone. The problem with the automated home evaluations is that they are not taking every factor into consideration and can result in false information, causing you to believe that your home value is less than what it actually is or even higher than what is realistic.
The internet doesn’t know if you have just put in hardwood floors, updated all your landscaping, added a brand-new deck or any other update you’ve put your hard earned money and possibly even your own valuable time into to improve your home.
What type of evaluation could give you an accurate answer? One where a LOCAL Real Estate Agent meets with you so they can conduct a personalized market analysis after asking you for more details about your home. Even better, schedule a consultation so that Agent can see your home in person and give you the MOST accurate answer. Listing Consultations cost you zero dollars and you have no obligation to order the for-sale sign and start signing afterwards.
MYTH #2: If You Don’t Have an Open House, Your Home Won’t Sell
Most buyers who are seriously shopping for a home are working with a real estate agent. They get new listings from their agent as new homes come on the market. Their agent takes them out to look at homes, and they get private inspections. Generally, by the time a house is held open, a serious buyer has already seen it.
This isn’t to say that your home shouldn’t have an Open House when it’s for sale, but it also isn’t always the most effective marketing strategy. Holding an Open House will help increase exposure when your home first hits the market, so it’s recommended to have your Agent hold one the first week or two that your home is on the market in order to drive as much traffic as possible to your listing. However, make sure your Agent has other marketing strategies they use other than standing around your house for an hour or so every weekend.
MYTH #3: If You Price Your House on the High End, You’ll Have Room to Negotiate
Many sellers believe that if they price their house high, they’ll end up at the price they actually want. The problem with this is, that you’ll be decreasing the demand (number of interested buyers) when you first list your home which will automatically create a mindset that the home is priced too high.
When your home hits the market, you want to make sure you are drawing from the biggest pool of buyers to get as much exposure as possible. Pricing it on the high end will eliminate buyers who can afford the price you actually want because their budget might not go up to the price you’re starting with. Instead, price it at or slightly below the market value to increase demand, competition and ultimately more money in your pocket.
If you’re thinking of listing your home in the near future, you’re already in a better position knowing the truth about these common seller myths. To be even more prepared, make sure you schedule a listing consultation with a Real Estate Agent to find out what else you should know before listing your home for sale.