GUEST POST: House Hunters, Tips for Finding Your Dream Home

Elle Martinez

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Published on 07-23-2019

Categories: Articles

Buying a home can be a wonderful opportunity or it can be a huge financial burden.

For many buyers, their home is the biggest purchase they make so being savvy with the process is a must.

If you’re in the market to buy a house soon, it really pays to do a little extra work upfront to make sure you get a gem of a home instead of being stuck with a money pit.

Home Buying Tips

How do you sift through all the listings to find the best house for you? How do you get a great deal on your home?

This is where having an expert in your corner is a huge win.

I spoke with Louis Guillama, Vice President of Real Estate Operations at Coastal to get his professional take.

He was kind enough to go over some common mistakes homebuyers make when hunting for their house.

He also shared what to keep in mind so you can find your dream home (and still stick with your budget)!

Is Location Really Key?

Certain neighborhoods certainly deserve their reputations, but don’t narrow down your search to only the most popular neighborhoods.

That not only limits the house you’re looking at, but you’ll be missing out on fantastic deals on some wonderful, but less well-known spots.

As you write down your must-haves in a neighborhood, make sure you’re considering where you spend most of your time.

If you tend to be on the north side of town (your friends and family are nearby), getting a fantastic deal by the RDU may not be as good as you think.

Popular neighborhoods can have premium prices so you’re better off keeping search based on you and your family’s particular needs.

Fixer Upper or Money Pit?

Have you’ve seen those shows where buyers go through a home and they comment on what they love and don’t like about a home?

Too many times I'll hear them talk about the kitchen island, their views, or even the furniture.

I get it. We all love to see a well-staged home, but as a buyer, you need to have a more discerning eye.

Louis pointed out that when you’re looking to buy a home, you have to focus on the right parts of a home.

Too many times buyers fall in love with some fixtures or the staging of a home instead of examining more critical areas.

According to him, buyers should consider:

  1. Foundation and Structure
  2. Mechanical and Plumbing
  3. Surfaces Finishes

First time home buyers can be enticed by the surfaces finishes, but if you’re hoping to avoid expensive repairs down the line, you have to pay attention to the first two.

Your home’s foundation and structure need to be sound. It sounds like a given, but one of my husband’s coworkers actually had to move his family out because of this issue.

Your mechanical and plumbing are the next area you can hone in when you’re doing a tour. What condition does the HVAC unit appear to be in?

Are there any spots where it looks there is water damage (possibly from a roof leak or pipe)?

Ignoring these issues may mean you’re stuck with a huge bill when something breaks or if you decide to do a renovation down the line, being hit with even more expenses.

Even if you fall in love with a home and it looks solid, Louis advises all buyers to get a home inspection.

They can help you uncover any serious issues and their report may help you to negotiate a better price on the house.

Looking to Buy a House?

I hope these tips help you find your dream home! If you’re ready to start your own house hunt, you can see what mortgage options are available through Coastal.

If you need an agent, Daymark Realty has a fantastic team ready to help find the perfect house for you in the Triangle area!


Elle Martinez is the creator of Couple Money, a personal finance podcast and site focused on helping couples get on the same page, dump their debt faster, start building wealth together. 


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