With so many homes to choose from, how do you know if this house is "the one?"
Sounds like a dating question. And, coincidentally, using some of the same criteria used to determine if you're marrying the right person may also help you decide which home is the best for your needs.
The last thing you want is analysis paralysis: a common disease caused by overthinking a decision, which then causes inactivity. It's horrible!
So, how can you be confident that the home you're buying will meet your needs? Start with some basic guidelines. Make a list of your must-haves, needs, and wants. These are truly three different categories. Yes, some things you list may overlap but after your list is started, you'll begin to see what really matters to you. Sometimes buyers will be shopping for a home with a pool, but when they finally make a list they realize that money is very tight and the added cost of heating a pool will be too much of a drain. So they revise their home-buying desires and start house-hunting all over again. It would've been far more effective to have considered this from the start.
Next, study the home or apartment that you're currently living in. What are the positive aspects of it? Are there things about the place you live in now that you absolutely can't stand? Taking stock of what is working and what isn't in your current home provides a good blueprint for the things you should consider when searching for your next home. Remember to be honest. Sometimes we tend to forget the bad things about a home due to its sentimental value. If you look at your current home with a critical eye, you'll know which areas caused a big headache and then you can be sure you don't buy another with the same problem.
For instance, maybe the home needs a lot of fixing up and you and your spouse barely survived the remodel without tearing each other apart. You might then want to search for homes in much better condition to limit the fixing up. Our minds have a wonderful way of forgetting the bad, once the bad is over. But, trust me, you'll remember once you're back in the same scenario again.
Do your homework and get everyone's feedback. Unless you're buying a home alone, you should spend time meeting with those who will be living in the home to discuss what's important. Sounds obvious...yes, but guess what? A lot of times Buyer One and Buyer Two don't even talk about what's really important to each other until they start searching for homes. Then they realize how truly different their views and expectations are and see the necessity to compromise a little. Time is better spent reviewing and discussing first. That way, an agent can make sure the properties being shown are in line with everyone's desires.
Finally, plan ahead. Especially if you're moving a family or you're moving in with someone else. Use a synchronized calendar, like Google, to help map out all the meetings and showings. There will be lots of important meetings to attend and if you can't get the necessary buyers there, the process will be stalled. Without the necessary buyers present, you can't be confident the home will satisfy. Plan. Schedule. Commit. This will assure that the home-buying process will be a success.