House Shopping: House Hunting Journal

A house-hunting journal can be made simply and easily and reduce both stress and time when comparing houses.

A house-hunting journal is a very useful tool to use when searching for a new house. It can be made simply and easily and reduce both stress and time when comparing houses. You will no longer need to make repeated trips to the same houses to determine which house had what feature. In addition, you will be better able to compare your house choices at a glance. All of the information of each house will be at the tip of your fingertips making your decision much easier to make.

You will need:

A loose-leaf binder, to hold the pages of your notebook

A digital camera for taking picture of the house and its features

Computer for creating your customizes journal pages

A printer that will also print your photos

A hole-punch to make the pages fit into your journal

Once you have gathered all of your items you will need to create a spreadsheet or checklist that details possible wants and amenities in the house. Try to keep the spreadsheet to two pages that you can view at a glance. In addition to the spreadsheet, make space for several pictures for each property. Each property should consist of five pages each. Page 1 should have pictures of the front of the house including the street numbers in case the pictures ever get confused. Page two and three should have the checklists. Page four should contain pictures of extra amenities and features the house has and page five should contain pictures of any damage or concerns. Never house hunt without a camera.

On your checklist or spreadsheet, use items that are important to you from the following questions. This will help you measure the amenities of each home you visit.

What is the square foot of the house?

Is the space well used?

What is the lot size?

What is the garage size and were is it located?

How many bathrooms?

How many bedrooms?

What kind of flooring is in the house?

Does the house need renovating, and in what rooms?

Does the house need redecorating and in what rooms?

Is the house in move-in condition?

Is there evidence of wear?

Is there a basement, and is it finished?

Is there an attic and is it finished?

Is the yard fenced?

Is the yard high or low maintenance?

What is the condition of the foundation?

What is the condition of the foundation?

What are the neighborhood property values?

What are the zoning ordinances?

How are the crime rates?

How are the schools rated?

Are their any local services?

How long is the commute to your job and activities?

Of course, this list is not exhaustive. You can remove anything that is not important to you and add things that are. The key is to detail has both the standard and extra amenities in each property so that you can make an educated decision instead of an emotional one.

Unless you absolutely hate a house, fill out a checklist for every property. Do not be shy about taking pictures, as this part is vital to saving time. The pictures will job your memory. If anyone has problems with you taking pictures, chances are that you should probably not buy that house.

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