How to Buy a House – Use This System to Compare One Home With Another

September 2, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Buying A House

Everyone experiences this common dilemma when buying a house.

We view houses without a system in place to compare one house with another. And it can cost us.

You probably know what follows. You walk through six or seven open houses. You return home to review your notes but suddenly you are confused. You can’t remember which house you liked and which ones you didn’t.

How can you keep track of the homes?

You will find buying a house is all about comparison. Most likely, you will have already narrowed down your search to homes that are similar in price. In fact if you have been preapproved by your mortgage lender, most of the homes you preview will likely fall into a similar price range.

It is becoming clear to you that further evaluation is necessary.

In order to compare homes it is wise to have a system. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD as it is commonly called, has created its own score card. However before I go any further, I strongly suggest adding a digital camera onto your home shopping procedure.

With this in mind, your real estate agent is going to take you to see several houses based on information you have provided. To remember each house, use a camera to photograph important attributes. This way you can analyze comparable pictures.

First, take a picture of the outside of each house. Then photograph the major rooms such as living room, family room, and kitchen.

Second take photos of the yards and any extra features about each house that you like as well as dislike.

Don’t forget problem spots too.

Keep in mind that if you are systematic in your approach, you will be able to easily compare pictures of the major rooms of each house, the yards, extra features you thought were beneficial, and potential problems.

Now you need the HUD Home Buying Scorecard. Print out the pictures for each house and attach them to your score card.

Have you heard of the HUD Home Buying Scorecard? It is a home buying checklist designed to remind you of important features in each home and to score each feature with a good, average, or poor score.

Before you go on tour with your Realtor, print out or copy several HUD Scorecards so that you have one for each individual house. At the top write the address and list price for each home you are previewing.

Basically the scorecard highlights features from 4 important categories that everyone buying a house needs to consider.

Briefly the first category includes attributes from the home itself such as square feet and number of bedrooms to roof age and condition of gutters and downspouts. Score each one.

The second category compares items related to neighborhoods and includes the appearances of nearby homes and businesses, traffic conditions, pet restrictions, and garbage service.

Perhaps of most importance, local schools comprise the third section reviewing teacher to student ratios, safety standards and test scores.

Lastly, buying a house should take convenience into consideration. Rank features such as parks, shopping malls, places of worship, and hospitals.

Now use this system to analyze. Clip the pictures to corresponding scorecards. Begin evaluating the houses using the photos and scorecard criteria. You will be able to easily analyze and decide which house is best for you.

Who says buying a house has to be confusing? Good luck and happy shopping!

Always consult your real estate professional before taking pictures within a private residence.

Kate Ford, author of Get Your Best Mortgage Rate takes the confusion out of previewing homes for sale. Get more of Kate’s tips for buying a house and quickly print your home buying scorecard here.

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