How to Buy a New House…Easy and Fast

by | Dec 15, 2016 | House Selling and Buying Tips for Busy Moms, Moving Tips for Busy Moms | 0 comments

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My husband an I have been researching how to buy a new house in our current neighborhood for quite some time now.  Last March we got a call that a house had opened up in the neighborhood that my parents and grandmother lived in.  For me this was the next best option!

We had just had our third baby and in a few short years, we would easily have outgrown our two bedroom villa.

…And it doesn’t hurt to have a couple of baby sitters a few doors down 😉

This new house was three bedrooms, had a much bigger common area, lower monthly HOA dues, and a wonderful backyard for the children to play in. Did I also mention it was in close proximity to family?

It was a no brainer, except the estate wanted to close fast!! We had first right of refusal but no idea if our current home would even sell for enough to cover costs and renovations.

Luckily, it was! Here’s how we bought and sold a house in a matter of weeks, easy and fast (even with a newborn baby at home):

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How to Buy a New House – Here’s the 10 Steps our family used…

Tip 1. We did our research on sites like Zillow.

When learning how to buy a new house we made sure we researched everything!  With the internet at your fingertips, you can pretty much figure out fair market value of your home and the one you are looking to purchase by doing some research on any of the real estate listing sites. Make sure to look at the recent sales instead of just the ones that are newly listed.

Tip 2. Get approved by a lender

We were lucky in that we purchased a short sale for cash back in 2012. That property doubled by 2016 and we were able to purchase our new home with the sale of our old one. I realize this isn’t the case for most homeowners, so getting pre-approved for a mortgage is important.

Tip 3. Hire the right Real Estate Agent.

A good Real Estate Agent should be able to answer any and all questions you have about how to buy a new house.  The right Real Estate will have no problem answer any questions you may have about how to buy a new house.

I think hiring the Real Estate agent that we did made all the difference. I found her off of Zillow. She had just sold a property in our community. She knew our market well and I could see how her listing presented itself. It was clean, crisp, and priced well.

When I interviewed her, she also presented herself well. She was very professional and gave me a full overview of the kind of support her company gives. I was impressed with their online presence and that they use a professional photographer to take the pictures of the listing.

She also made great suggestion on how to buy a new house and gave use a punch list of what I needed to do to make the most off my sale.

Tip 4. Hire the right Title Company.

This important step is usually overlooked when learning how to buy a house.  Most people just go with the company the agent suggests.  But do your due diligence!  I asked my agent and some other friends who were Real Estate agents for suggestions on a Title Company.

Because we were doing a simultaneous closing and dealing with an estate over an individual,  who also was not using a real estate agent, I wanted to make sure we had a Title Company who would cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s with our paperwork and any monies owed on the property.

Tip 5. Enlist Family and Friends to help you declutter.

Here is where things got fun! With the help of my entire family and my father’s truck, we moved all unnecessary furniture to a storage unit. If family or friends can’t help with the actual move, having them watch the kids with allow you to get through this process with more ease.

Stuffed animals, 75% of toys, all personal photos, knickknacks, clothes, shoes, and kitchen items went into storage. The goal was to have clear walls, tidy closets, and clean surfaces to show potential buyers. We basically did a pre-pack and only kept the necessities in house.

This process was super helpful in both staging and packing for the move later on. It also makes you want to be a minimalist!

 Tip 6. Set a budget for improvements.

We knew we were going to have to make a few repairs, so we set a budget for $1000. The kitchen and bathrooms make the biggest impact when selling a home, so we concentrated on the bathrooms. Our kitchen was brand new when we moved in and I knew it would sell our home. For $400 we bought a new vanity and matching mirror for the guest bathroom, and a new glass sliding shower door for the master.

Man and woman sitting by boxes thinking how to buy a new house

6. Schedule a Handy person, painter, or contractor to make repairs.

We paid a handyman $300 to install the shower door, bathroom vanity, and mirror. We also hired someone for $75 to help clean our home before we took pictures and listed it.

Having three kids and a husband who works more than full time, I felt this would help ease some of the responsibility and get us moving quicker.

7. Stage your home.

Now that all the mess and clutter is gone, it’s time to make your home look like a magazine. Walls should be mostly empty. If you use art, it should not be personal and should reflect the taste of the kind of buyer you want to attract. Each room should look clean and bright, yet comfortable.

White bedspreads photograph well. If you have a white or light colored blanket for your bed, use that.

My real estate agent placed small fake flowers on both of my night stands. She also added matching bathmats in both bathrooms to create a well done and cohesive look.
Toys were put in stylish bins on shelves.

Use bright pillows on the couches.

A trip to HomeGoods or Marshalls for accessories in the same tone can really elevate your staging game, if you don’t have enough to work with already.  I do believe a lot of home-stagers do keep receipts for later. (Wink, Wink)!

8. Have your real estate agent pay for professional pictures.

My agent brought this up at the beginning. She paid $250 out of pocket for the photos. I think it was worth it and made out listing standout amongst all the others.

9. Put your house on the market and plan for an open house.

I read somewhere that Thursday’s were the best day to list your home. We listed on a Thursday and planned for an open house that weekend. We listed high based on what was selling and how they looked. Within minutes of hitting the MLS, I had buyers who wanted to see the property at that moment. Within hours, we had a full ask offer that we accepted and cancelled the open house.

10. Now, hire movers and get packing!

A good moving hack is to pack a box or drawer a day to ease the burden as you approach your closing. Also, if you can, schedule someone to come in and clean once the movers have come, that will help tremendously.

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Our situation was a bit unusual, as we didn’t have to deal with a lender and we weren’t exactly searching for a house. Most people save and plan to purchase a home for months and even years.

In either situation, our sale went as smoothly as it did because we hired the correct team to guide us and make our house look amazing. We unfortunately made mistakes when it came to hiring the right team for our renovations in our new home. But that is a story for another day!

For now, if you want to buy or sell a house easy and fast, use these Mom’s Life Hacks to get it done.

Happy Buying and Selling!

Do you have any tips you can share about how to buy a new house or how to sell your current house?
If so, we would love to here from you!
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Casey Stone Philbrick
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