As we continue with our Carlsbad relocation tip for finding your new home in Carlsbad, it's time to review the house hunting process - not virtually, but when you make your house hunting trip. If you have the luxury of more than one such trip, or an extended time there, feel free to modify these relocation tips as they make sense to you and your schedule.
At this point in the relocation process you have learned about finding your REALTOR (Part 1), read some tips on finding your community or neighborhood (Part 2), and most recently learned about finding your home on-line in your new location (Part 3).
If you missed these important articles or wish to review them here they are:
Part 1 - Finding Your REALTOR: Carlsbad Relocation Tips - Finding Your REALTOR, Finding Your Community and Finding Your New Home in Carlsbad
Part 2 - FInding Your Community: Carlsbad Relocation Tips - Finding Your REALTOR, Finding Your Community and Finding Your New Home in Carlsbad
Part 3 - Finding Your Home (On-line searching): Carlsbad Relocation Tips - Finding Your REALTOR, Finding Your Community and Finding Your New Home in Carlsbad
Your goal should be to be able to head out on a house hunting trip with some specific areas and homes you wish to see, especially if the goal is to BUY on this trip. And hopefully your agent now have a pretty good idea of what you want and can add properties to the mix that make sense, or delete those that don't. Be open minded to a variety of properties, especially if the choices in your price range are limited.
Don't be afraid to ask about last minute changes - perhaps something new has come on the market. Or, after thinking about it or driving through an area, you may eliminate other homes as unsuitable.
You should have an itinerary, based on your schedule that you presumably have shared with your REALTOR. Make sure there is time to arrange showings, since some sellers required advance notice. But if you are there for several days you should be fine.
If you are looking at REOs and short sales consider your relocation timing very carefully. While REOs tend to be easier, there is NO guarantee on a short sale - it could be many months, so if you have to buy and move soon, it may be a waste of time to even consider these, unless you can make alternative living arrangements while you wait.
I would plan to spend a good part of the day looking, depending on where you are looking and how many homes you are seeing - touring 10 or more houses in a day is not unreasonable. But allow for some down time, too.
Be sure to have a copy of the MLS printout for each house (your agent should provide this). Also ask for comparison information on homes that have sold in the area (price, etc.). I suggest riding with your REALTOR, or them with you, so you can use the time for Q and A. You can always drive yourself around later, which I recommend, so you can gain a feel for the area on your own terms - check out amenities, commute time, traffic, noise, etc.
Use a digital and or video camera (remember the battery charger). This will help you remember homes and is easier than notes when seeing lots of homes - things can get a bit blurry.
You may want to rank order homes as you go so you can eliminate those that are low on the list. This will help you define what you really like and narrow down the list to your favorites.
Depending on your schedule you may not want to take too much time at each home so you can see everything that you want. You should pay a second visit to the favorites if time permits so you can make an informed decision. Some folks want to think things over. Keep in mind that waiting for a decision may result in you oozing the home your really want. But that's your choice.
Depending on your personal situation and comfort level, I would prepare yourself mentally to make a buying decision when you find the right house. If you have done your research and have a good agent, you will likely find the home you want during your trip, so you need to be prepared to move ahead quickly. If your time is limited and you need to return home, you might want to make an offer and hopefully get it accepted before leaving.
Be prepared for making an offer by bringing your checkbook for a deposit. Also make sure you have a pre-approval letter (or can get one from your lender quickly via email or fax). If you are not financing, bring proof of funds to submit with your offer.
In Part 5 of this series we will discuss handling an offer and transaction from a distance.
If I can provide more information about Carlsbad real estate and surrounding areas, or the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360 or email me at JDowler@remax.net.
All content copyright © 2009 Jeff Dowler Carlsbad Homes and Real Estate Tidbits