When you are looking for houses it helps to have a house hunting checklist. Something you can use to evaluate each house and make sure you are seeing it with your reality lenses instead of the rose-colored ones we usually see the “must-have” houses with.
Why use a house hunting checklist
When you start to look at houses it will likely happen all at once. When you have found a good real estate agent, and are done with looking for houses online, you will start heading out and looking at houses. Your realtor will likely take you to several houses on the first time out to give you a better idea of what is out there and give you an idea of how much house you can afford based on the areas you are looking at.
Having this free house hunting checklist pdf printable is a way for you to make your notes as you walkthrough the different houses and keep things straight in your own head.
How to Use the House Hunting Checklist
This checklist is a one page printable that you can take with you when you go through any house. While you are looking around just take some quick notes and maybe snap a photo or two if it’s allowed and then you can compare all the houses afterwards. Here are the different parts of the checklist and how to use it.
Part 1 of the House Hunting Checklist: House Information
This is where you enter in the details from the listing including the address, asking price, square footage and a few other items. These are all good to know at a glance because when you are comparing houses you want to know the details quickly.
Part 2 of the House Hunting Checklist: Rooms
This part of the checklist is for you to make a quick assessment of any room and give it a one out of three. Either you love it, hate it or it’s “ok” meaning you don’t really care either way. Doing this is a huge benefit because you can see very quickly what you do and don’t like about a place without having to remember all the details.
For instance, in one house if you love the kitchen but hate the master bedroom you will have to weigh those two things against each other and see what has to happen. Are you will to take it or leave it?
Part 3 of the House Hunting Checklist: Appliances and Heating and Cooling
The funny thing about this part is that you don’t really pay it any mind when you are doing your first walk through of a house, but it can be a deal breaker later on. These mechanical and appliance items are of key importance.
Do you get the appliances? Is it a boiler or a furnace? Does the house have air conditioning? Being able to check these off later on can give you a clearer picture of the whole house when you finally sit down at the end of the night.
Part 4 of the House Hunting Checklist: Must have and Nice to haves
Every millennial homeowner has certain things they “must have” and other things that are “nice to have”.
Fill these out before you go house shopping and it can cut down on time. After all, why would you go to a house that doesn’t have an ensuite bathroom when it’s one of your must haves. It’s your first home and you want to make sure you know what you want and what you can accept as an added bonus.
Doing this list can save you time and help you realize what is important and what is not.
Part 5 of the House Hunting Checklist: Overall impresssion
Finally when you leave the house you are looking at, take a few seconds in the car to write down your impression. Could you live in it? What did you like what didn’t you like? What did you notice that would need further inspection before you make an offer.
All of these items come into play but are important. Plus by doing this immediately after you leave you will capture your first impression and not let time gloss over the parts you did or didn’t like. One place we saw we loved the master bedroom so much we almost forgot about the terrible sewer smell the second time we saw it.
Be impartial and write down anything that comes to mind. Buying your first house is a big purchase and you want to make sure you get it right.
Putting the House Hunting Checklist into Action
The benefit of using this house hunting checklist comes from being able to make your comments and come back to them so you can assess the house in one glance. Often we get caught up in our house searching activities and we focus on one aspect we love (say granite countertops) and forget about the other things we didn’t really like (say the third bedroom is actually a closet). By having a house hunting sheet like this you can better prepare yourself for buying your first home.
If you are ready for house hunting you can get this free printable here.