It’s a shame that more people don’t ask me how to start looking for houses to buy in Tooele UT before they have spent a lot of time doing it. And doing it… wrong!
By wrong, I don’t mean that they have done something that is non reversible, but more in the sense that they have possibly wasted a lot of time and energy not zeroing in on the type of home best for their family, in a neighborhood that is comfortable to the entire family, at a price they can afford to buy.
I posted this article from KCM awhile back entitled 5 tips for starting your home search. I thought it could be helpful to those that would like to not get bogged down by searching thru every home for sale in a zip code.
Like most of these posts it was written for home buyers in general and on a national level.
Since we all know that all real estate is local, I have “localized” this post. I published the 5 tips as written , and then added my own thoughts to show how the advice pertains to properties in Tooele County. My offerings will appear below the original info in a light blue shaded area.
In today’s real estate market, with low inventory dominating the conversation in many areas of the country, it can often be frustrating to be a first-time homebuyer if you aren’t prepared.
In a recent realtor.com article entitled, “How to Find Your Dream Home—Without Losing Your Mind,”the author highlights some steps that first-time homebuyers can take to help carry their excitement of buying a home throughout the whole process.
1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before You Start Your Search
One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search. Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach.
This step will also help you narrow your search based on your budget and won’t leave you disappointed if the home you tour, and love, ends up being outside your budget!
This tip is more about peace of mind than anything else. In fact, I think that not being pre-qualified and knowing exactly what you can qualify for does more to discourage home buyers in Tooele County than any other one thing. Here’s what happens.The family begins searching for homes in say Stansbury Park. (usually a little more costly than in Tooele City). They fall in love with a house, a neighborhood, a school or whatever. When the buyers go to their lender, they are told that they “do not qualify for that home”. Believe me when I tell you that after having lived in the Stansbury Park house (in their mind). Nothing else looks quite so good.
They are discouraged and decide to not look any more. Wait until something change. Rarely is there a change that will help these buyers get a larger mortgage.
So, talk to your lender now.; before you start looking. Know how much you can buy, (comfortably) and at what interest rate. Be prepared!
2. Know the Difference Between Your ‘Must-Haves’ and ‘Would-Like-To-Haves’
Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen to be happy with your home choice? Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Could the ‘man cave’ of your dreams be a future renovation project instead of a make-or-break right now?
Before you start your search, list all the features of a home you would like and then qualify them as ‘must-haves’, ‘should-haves’, or ‘absolute-wish list’ items. This will help keep you focused on what’s most important.
Let me remind you as you develop your lists that families are staying longer in their homes. so, don’t just plan for next year, plan for down the road. Here are some suggestions to help you along.
- Planning a large family? 2 Bathrooms may not be enough.
- Any chance you will be taking care of aging parents?
- How about mother in law apartment?
- Rough in bath in basement?
- What about main floor living?
3. Research and Choose a Neighborhood You Want to Live In
Every neighborhood has its own charm. Before you commit to a home based solely on the house itself, the article suggests test-driving the area. Make sure that the area meets your needs for “amenities, commute, school district, etc. and then spend a weekend exploring before you commit.”
This is where I strongly suggest that you be partnered up with a local professional. A real Estate agent that is a member of the local board and has a track record that you can evaluate.
While I consider this an important requirement in any property transaction, it may be more important in a rural area like Tooele than more urban areas.
Only a local agent is likely to understand or know about things like water rights, zoning infringements, animal rights, rural financing, transportation plans etc:
As an aside, I probably would not suggest working with an agent that did not attend at least 1 planning and zoning or city council meeting a month.
4. Pick a House Style You Love and Stick to It
Evaluate your family’s needs and settle on a style of home that would best serve those needs. Just because you’ve narrowed your search to a zip code, doesn’t mean that you need to tour every listing in that zip code.
An example from the article says, “if you have several younger kids and don’t want your bedroom on a different level, steer clear of Cape Cod–style homes, which typically feature two or more bedrooms on the upper level and the master on the main.”
To further help point out the options you have, and the difficulty you might encounter, let’s list a few homes available in the county by various identifiers. When you click on them you will be presented with information about all of the homes listed for sale.
I hope the point has been made here that the options for searching for homes for sale in Tooele County are numerous. Once again, I suggest a good local agent, with proper search tools (IDX) can be very helpful in learning how to search for houses for sale in Tooele UT
5. Document Your Home Visits
Once you start touring homes, the features of each individual home will start to blur together. The article suggests keeping your camera handy and documenting what you love and don’t love about each property you visit. They even go as far as to suggest snapping a photo of the ‘for sale’ sign on the way into the property to help keep the listings divided in your photo gallery.
Making notes on the listing sheet as you tour the property will also help you remember what the photos mean, or what you were feeling while touring the home.
Your personal cell phone is probably sufficient to record & remind about the pros and cons of the properties you see. My last recommendation is that you only keep for future reference the top 3 or 4 possibiltles.
In a high-paced, competitive environment, any advantage you can give yourself will help you on your path to buying your dream home.
Hook up with an agent that has the tools, experience and desire to make your home buying experiecne a joyful and profitable one.
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