House Hunting Tips: Staying on the Straight and Narrow

Searching for a house

Keeping Your House-Hunt on the Straight and Narrow

When you’re looking for a new house and visiting potential properties, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and to start making concessions about what you want. Not only is it common to feel pressure to make a fast decision (especially in a hot market), you might also see something you really want, which can effectively blind you to the home’s possible shortcomings. When you’re in the market for a new home, here are a few mental exercises to help keep you on track.

Before you even start looking at houses, think about your homeownership plan.

Is this going to be a starter home or a forever home? Are kids going to be arriving or leaving the nest while you’re there? It’s important to get a clear picture of how the house will fit into your life both now and in the years to come, but remember that it doesn’t have to meet every future need at this moment. If you’re unsure, buy for your lifestyle now and simply adapt – or sell – when your needs change.

Next, make a list of the Must Haves, Nice to Haves, and Must NOT Haves.

Yes, make a physical list on paper by writing down the qualities that are most important to you. This list will have two benefits: it will help you organize your thoughts (you might realize that ‘Victorian charm’ doesn’t belong on the same list as ‘open concept’), and putting it in writing is a proven method for helping you stay accountable to yourself. You may need to stay grounded when a gourmet kitchen tempts you to give up on that third bedroom!

Keep in mind that your house should support how you live.

If you buy a home with a sprawling yard but you and your partner work long hours, you’ll either have to cram your weekends with yard work or pay someone to look after it for you. If a lengthened commute to work interferes with your kids’ after-school schedules, you’ll soon be run ragged trying to get everywhere you need to be. Really try to avoid thinking that the house is going to create a new, idyllic lifestyle for you and your family. While a house might be stunning, it needs to be the hub for your daily routines if you’re going to be comfortable living there.

What all of this boils down to is preparation, because it’s easy to get swept up in the moment when a home takes your breath away. Knowing what you want in your next home and following the plan can not only help you avoid serious buyer’s remorse, it can also make your house-hunting a lot more efficient. Of course, you may begin to realize that your plan needs to change, but with some careful consideration, you’ll come to see that change as an evolution rather than as losing sight of the goal.


Originally published in the Canstar Community Newspapers on December 27, 2016. Republished with permission. Content written by ComFree Commonsense Network broker.


  1. Callum Palmer says:

    I really like the advice about buying a house that fits with how you live your life. There’s not much point to buying an absolutely massive house if you’re never going to be able to fill all of the rooms in it. Instead, you should look at the current state of your life and how you think it will grow over the next few years and then use that to help you pick a home.

  2. Ernest London says:

    I really like your idea of making a written list of the qualities you absolutely must have in a home, and the ones you can live without. That way, you can easily eliminate homes that don’t meet your needs, and you can have space to compromise on homes that aren’t quite perfect. I am trying to find the right house for my family to move into this summer. I will definitely keep this in mind as I search.

  3. Admin says:

    Great article. I can very well relate the getting carried away part. And it is surprising and shocking when I look back on the deal on how we compromised on the actual must have list and went behind some thing that was not on the list in the first place.

    Having a written list is the way to start the house hunt.

  4. State property management says:

    This is article is very informative and should help just about anyone looking for the best option for short term and long term. Whether your buying for resale or for yourself this is a great article!

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