You create a homebuyer’s checklist. In my last two home purchases, I made a matrix or checklist so that I could objectively compare the houses based on what was important to me. So this looks like a spreadsheet to compare. The houses are down one side of the spreadsheet and the things that are important to you are down the other side of the spreadsheet. There is a caveat though. You need to weigh the importance from 1-10 on how important that feature is to you. Let’s say schools are the most important to you. You would give schools a weighted score of 10. Let’s say you want a downstairs master but it’s no deal killer if it doesn’t. You give it a weighted score of 5.
Let’s get started on your homebuyers checklist. First, make a list of what’s important to you. Some examples are schools and master bedroom like we already mentioned. Others include neighborhood, amenities, and closeness to work. Others include modern bathrooms and a kitchen. You may not want to give something like baths and kitchens a 10 because it is something you can change. You can’t change neighborhoods or schools. Other things to consider include the absence or presence of a garage or basement. You may also want to consider square footage and lot size. There are many things you look for in a house. The Tour list should be unique to you. The thing to remember though is that some are more important than others. It is very unlikely you are going to find a house that has every single thing you want that falls within your budget. Since you will have to compromise on something it’s a good idea to weigh the things you want.
Before we make our homebuyers checklist let’s talk about the condition of the house. At the very least this should be one of your weighted items. For finding the condition we recommend a home inspection and a Radon Inspection by a company like Home Inspection Carolina. They also provide a free home inspection checklist. Some people prefer new homes over existing homes for this very reason. A new home will have a brand-new roof, furnace, and water heater. Everything should be under warranty with a new home. You may ask well then why ever buy an existing home? Why not just always buy a new home? Well, there is a tradeoff. Although a new how the home may be less maintenance it might not appreciate as quickly as a preexisting home. After all, why would someone pay more for your home a year later if they can buy a brand new one just down the street? Also, it might be hard to get mature trees in a brand-new neighborhood. Also, some preexisting homes may be closer to work. Whether you buy a new or preexisting home in an area like Charlotte NC we recommend having a home inspection by a company like Home Inspection Carolina.
Ok, you now have your house down one side of your spreadsheet and the weighted features down the other side. Now you want to go through each feature and rate each house from 1-10 on that feature and then multiply it by its weighted amount. If you rated schools a 10 and you gave the schools for house “A” a 9 you would put 90 in that box. If you rated house “B” a 7 you would put a 70 in that box. I house “A” scored a 6 on bathrooms and you weighted it and 8 the score would be 48. If house “B” scored a 10 on bathrooms and you weighted it an 8. It would get an 80. In the end, you will add up all the weighted scores to see what each house scored. This is how I objectively compared houses I was thinking of purchasing. I hope this might help you as well.