I consider myself an educated person, and I try to understand everything about what I’m getting myself into so I’ll be fully prepared for every possible outcome. How hard could this be? I’d watched hundreds of shows on HGTV about house hunting & first time home buyers. But just to be safe, I tested the waters by signing up on Trulia and checking out a few open houses before I started my official search. I also picked up Home Buying Kit for Dummies from Amazon and felt I had a pretty good understanding of how this whole “house hunting” thing would work.
Before my first meeting with my Realtor, I had a loooong questionnaire to fill out about what I was looking for in a house.
- What type of house was I interested in: house (single family), condo, townhome, garden home (what?), patio home (huh?)
- What kind of kitchen countertops: formica (prefer not), granite (would love, not expecting), tile (ew), or wood (maybe if its butcher block…?)
- Bedrooms: how many (3+) and on which floor, master on top floor, or all bedrooms on top floor
- Baths: # of full (2+), # of half (1), separate shower, jetted tub, or non-jetted tub.
- Yard: less than 1 acre (sure), more than 1 acre (probably not), landscaped (duh), trees (yes), shrubs
While I had a few must haves on my list, I was pretty indifferent about a lot of things. I knew that I probably wasn’t going to get an updated house in my price point, and I really wanted a house in a great location with good bones; the cosmetic stuff I could work on over time.
I decided to focus my search on the area called “North Dallas” which is about 10-15 miles north of Downtown and in a good school district (important for resale!). Its also bordered by 4 major highways (75, 635, Dallas North tollway & President George Bush Tollway) so it would be great for easy access to anywhere. Plus, my office was on the west side of the perimeter so that means a shorter commuter & less money on tolls.
I decided I cared most about the location, room sizes & floor plan. With my house criteria nailed down, it was time to begin the search!