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5 Strategies for a Smooth and Successful Dream Home Hunt

Family with keys celebrating new home

When on the hunt for the home of your dreams, it’s easy to get lost in all the excitement and information. Keep your eyes on the prize as you navigate the market with these 5 useful tips:

1. Get preapproved for a mortgage

Looking for a home in a competitive neighborhood? Get preapproved for a home mortgage even before you begin. When you find a favorite, use your loan preapproval as leverage to convince the seller that you are serious about buying.

A successful preapproval will also give you a clear idea of how much you can actually spend for a new house. This helps you narrow down your options into a realistic short list, preventing any waste of time or energy over listings that go over your budget.

2. Make a list of needs, nice-to-haves, and wants

Before starting to look for options, write down the amenities, features, and qualities that you want to have in your future home. Keep your notes handy when you attend open houses and viewings, so you can keep adding to your checklist as you go along.

As your list grows, organize the items as either:

  • Must-haves. These are the features you personally need in your home. The number of bedrooms, for example, or an upgraded kitchen. If you like entertaining outdoors, a patio could be your must-have. Consider, too, the needs of other members of the household – wheelchair access, for instance, or an extra room that can be used as a home office.
  • Nice-to-haves. Handy bonuses, but ultimately optional and can be added later as you customize your home to your liking. Smart home technologies are a good example. In Central Florida specifically, outdoor screened pools count as nice-to-haves.
  • Non-essentials. Lavish amenities like sports courts, swim-up bars, and the like can fall under your non-essential columns. You can add them later if you wish.

3. Learn about your potential future neighborhood

When buying a home, you are moving not just into a new house, but also into a new neighborhood. It’s important to know as much as you can about your potential new community before you commit to a purchase.

When you visit the home for a viewing, look around the neighborhood and see what amenities, attractions, and services are nearby. Talk to residents and shop owners to get a feel of the local lifestyle. Try visiting during a different day or time of day to see how conditions around your home vary.

4. Include professional inspections in your plans

Even if you are purchasing a newly built home, be sure to have a professional perform a thorough inspection on the property. Spotting hidden damage, defects, or potential problems and being able to address them before you agree to a final sale price is worth every penny spent on inspection fees.

Do your own inspecting, too. If you are really keen on a particular property, don’t be shy to take a close look at every nook and cranny of the home. Just be sure to schedule accordingly with the seller or the seller’s agent.

happy house hunting

5. Work with a capable real estate professional

Hunting for a dream home in a highly sought after area such as Central Florida can be overwhelming. Partner with an experienced agent with extensive local knowledge to gain access to a versatile array of services and support, as well as a steady guiding hand throughout the entire home buying process.

If you’re looking for your dream Florida home in Winter Haven, Auburndale, or Davenport, contact Michael and Dee of Norris & Company Realty for the best listings in town, with expert market insights to match. Inquire today at 863-875-5583 or