While some house hunters might think that combining the terms “fun” and “house hunting” in the same sentence is an oxymoron, we’ve come up with 5 fun ways to stay organized while house-hunting that will streamline the process. These tips may not rival sitting on the beach drinking a pina colada, but as far keeping tabs on all the homes you’ve viewed goes, these tips can make the process more organized and more enjoyable.
# 5: Pin Your Must-Haves
As you make your list of must-haves for your next property, start with the basics: square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms, storage space, etc. Then expand your list to include the amenities that you want: a garden, a den, a basement, quartz countertops, etc. Not only can this list help you stay on track during your house hunting, your real estate agent will use this information to find homes that meet your needs. Streamlining this process can also add a little eye-candy to your everyday – using technologies like Evernote or Pinterest can help you organize your notes and inspirational photos for the must-haves that make you swoon.
#4: Race to the Finish
Once you’ve found the home of your dreams, the worst thing that can happen is having someone else lock-in the deal while you’re still fumbling with paperwork. While most top real estate agents have a virtual contract system in place like Docusign or NuOffer to help you submit offers quickly, it doesn’t hurt to ask your agent in advance if they have the tools necessary for you to complete purchase and sale agreements online. It can save you valuable time, allowing you to come in #1 in the house hunting game.
#3: Browse and Brunch
Looking at a new prospective neighborhood? The only way to know if it’s really a fit for you is to spend time there. Go for a stroll, talk with with locals, and patronize some of the local stores – that will give you a good feel. You can even make a date with the neighborhood by grabbing brunch nearby after the open house to get a vibe for the area. Truly immersing yourself in the culture and amenities of a prospective neighborhood can be more telling than any internet search and ultimately help you narrow your neighborhood choices.
# 2: Make a House Scrapbook
As you explore open houses and view properties with your agent, be sure to take notes and photos in order keep organized. It’s easy to forget little details about the homes you’re viewing when you see several in a weekend. Don’t be afraid to draw the layout of the floor-plan since photos can sometimes be deceiving by themselves. Snap a photo of your drawning and then create an individual scrapbook for each of your top contending homes. Consider using the House Hunter app to make all this house-hunting just another excuse to play with your iPhone. With it you can track, evaluate, and compare homes while keeping notes and pictures at your fingertips.
# 1: Share the Journey
Lastly, having someone to share your house-hunting journey with can make the experience more enjoyable. Whether it is your mom or dad, your sister or brother, your husband or wife, your best friend, or even your trusted real estate agent, having someone with you who shares your excitement and passion can make the house-hunting process memorable. And, don’t forget to thank the people who helped you through the process. Check out fun apps like Postagram and Handimail for a cool way to say thanks to you agent.
Author Bio: Agent Ace is a free service empowering homebuyers and sellers with the tools to identify real estate agents in their area with the most expertise.