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Ways to make the most of your home-hunting trip

It has been said that moving and divorce are two of the most stressful events a person or family can experience. Let’s consider the event of moving and look at some ways to make your home hunting trip less stressful and more effective.

Location is the first factor to consider when planning a move. If you have children, or are planning a family, you will want to know about the schools in the area. How about shopping centers, medical facilities, recreational opportunities and of course how far you will be from your place of employment?

If you require public transportation, is there any within walking distance of your prospective new home? What about the crime rate? A check with the local law enforcement agency can either put your mind at ease or give you reason to look elsewhere.

Once you’ve zeroed in on your preferred location, you can start to think seriously about searching for your dream home. Rather than spin your wheels by looking at houses randomly, you should determine what you really want in a house and let those things help you focus your search.

Typically, home hunting involves seeing as many homes as possible in a short period of time. Both the house hunter and the assisting Realtor have busy schedules and sometimes tend to rush the process. Make sure you and your Realtor have allowed ample time to carefully view the properties. You can usually learn something from every house you view, even if you are not interested in it.

You need to make notes after each viewing. One effective means of qualifying each home is to make multiple copies of your list of priorities and use it as a checklist to grade each home visited. This little tip will eliminate confusion when trying to make mental comparisons at the end of the day.

Regard your hunt as an excursion. If you were going to the zoo for the day and contemplated a lot of walking, you would dress comfortably and wear comfortable shoes. House hunting is no different; you’ll be walking, climbing stairs, quite possibly going into basements and attics and constantly getting in and out of cars. Dressing to impress homeowners or your Realtor should not be your top priority. Dress clean and neat of course, but comfortable is the name of the hunting game.

And last but not least, use your own Realtor. When you call the Realtor on a “house for sale” sign you’re speaking to the seller’s agent. Keep in mind that he or she represents the seller and will be looking after the seller’s interests. You need your own Realtor - someone who is working for you and is looking out for your interests.

House hunting can actually be an enjoyable experience if you take your time and do your homework.

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