Making a homefinder's kit

Property market
Property market (Photo credit: Alan Cleaver)

When you go out in search of a new property taking a few moments to assemble your own homefinder's kit can be advantageous and make your search much more rewarding.

Assemble a kit to take with you on each househunting venture. Organized notes will make it easier to evaluate your options, and being prepared when tours span mealtimes can make the outings easier on everyone. Include the following:

1. Househunters Notes - Make notes and take photos of special features as you tour. Attach your notes to the information given to you at each house. Typically when you view a property there are listing sheets with all the details and specifications about the property. There's a great opportunity to USE THE BACK of the listing sheet to take detailed notes on items you really liked and on what you didn't like Remember when you're leaving to note the neighborhood and any additional follow up questions you might have if you decide to consider a second showing.

2. Map of the city or area. Mark the location of each house and important amenities, facilities and attributes, such as schools, churches, recreation areas, public transportation, shopping etc.

3. Copy of your Housing Checklist (Note by MedfordHouse - I'll be detailing this in the next post).

4. Notebook/Clipboard and pen

5. Camera (still or video). Photos will be helpful when you have several properties to evaluate. A video camera (even the one built into your phone) is a great way to share your tour with others in your household. Photos of schools or an interview with a teacher can ease the transition for school-aged children. This can also come in handy for conditions to compare with during the home inspection and prior to closing. Documenting items of importance to make sure they're in good working order or included in the sale. An example of this would be light fixtures, window treatments etc.

6. Snacks such as juice and fruit or granola bars to munch on between appointments. Especially important if you'll be bringing children along with you viewing properties. If you're viewing bank owned/foreclosed  properties it's sometimes advisable to bring hand sanitizer, napkins, toilet paper and such. Also PACK A FLASHLIGHT. So many times basement stairs can be tricky when they're not well lit and unfamiliar to you. 

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