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You’re finally ready to buy a home!  You have your “financial house” in order, you have been pre-approved by a lender, and you are ready to select a real estate broker.  The stars have finally aligned themselves and you are on Cloud Nine!  Right?  RIGHT?  Wait a minute.  Are you worried?  This isn’t HGTV…this is you.  What if you make a mistake?  What if you choose a home that really isn’t suitable for you and your family?  What if…what if…what if… (fill in the blanks)? 

RELAX.  It is perfectly normal to have these concerns. 


Just breathe.  AND DO A LITTLE “PRE-SEARCH RESEARCH” to help you avoid some possible pitfalls. 


Start out by using a checklist of all the things you realistically need and want in your new home (you’ll be surprised at how many things you want to consider other than the number of bedrooms and bathrooms) and rate them in terms of their importance to you.  Get your spouse or partner to do the same thing.  Compare your lists and agree to a final combined list. Do this before you select a broker or go out to see the first home.  (You do not want to go out looking for certain characteristics while the other person is looking for the complete opposite.  You and your real estate broker will have a difficult time targeting the right home, you will become frustrated, and you will experience home-buying anxiety…cold feet.)  Once you have your final list, select a broker and share your list with your real estate broker.  S/he will be familiar with the homes on the market and can help you find the home that most closely matches what you are looking for.

To help you get started with this process, you will find below a basic outline of a Home Shopping List.  [To get a FREE more detailed checklist and buying guide that is ready-to-use please email me at and include the words “Home Shopping List and Guide” in the subject line.  I will also send you a FREE copy of “How You Know You Found the Right Home Checklist”.]  Let’s get started:

Location: Rural or city, close to work or within a certain commuting distance?  Specific school district?  Specific subdivision?  Close to shopping, restaurants, medical care, recreation? HOA or no HOA?

Type and Style of Home:  Single-family detached home or a townhome?  One or two stories?  A certain architectural style?  Brick, wood, stone, vinyl exterior?  New construction or existing?  Age of home?

Outdoor Space:  Lawn, acreage (how much), fenced, landscaping, gardening area, irrigation system, deck, patio, screened porch, detached workshop?

Parking:  Attached garage, detached garage (how many spaces), carport, driveway parking?

Indoor Space:  Square footage, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, formal areas and den, great room, home office, laundry closet or room, master suite on first floor, type of kitchen (chef’s kitchen for lots of cooking or “it comes with the house kitchen”), basement, attic?

Features:  Cathedral or vaulted ceilings, open concept, walk-in closets, pantry, kitchen island, fireplace, tankless hot water heater, skylights, lots of windows, garden or jetted tub, walk-in showers, ceiling fans, appliances included?

Finishes:  Hardwood, tile, laminate, carpeted flooring, freshly painted, neutral colors or vibrant colors, granite, formica, solid surface counters, appliances, custom cabinetry?

Special features:  Swimming pool, barn, waterfront, energy efficient features, designed for accessibility?

Condition:  New, like-new, remodeled, needs some work, a real fixer upper?

Remember to keep your needs and wants realistic and within your budgeted/pre-approved amount.  And, a good system to rate each item in terms of its importance to you is to rate items on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being unimportant (not interested at all) and 5 being of high importance to you (you really need or want that item).  Everything else falls between those two – 4 is not the most important, you-could-live-without-it-but-you-would-like-to-have-it, 3 is neutral, and 2 is not-very-important-and-you-could-take-it-or-leave-it. 

When you compare your list with your spouse or partner, be sure to look at the 5’s first to see how many you both agree upon as highly important.  Then, look at the 1’s and toss those out if you can both agree to that.  If you find you differ significantly on some or all items, have an honest and respectful discussion about them…before you go out looking. Now, let’s go out there and get that home!

To get a FREE copy of “Home Shopping List and Guide” and “How You Know You Found the Right Home       Checklist” email me at and include the words “Home Shopping List and Guide” in the subject line.

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