House Hunting At Its Finest

The whole process of purchasing a house is a storm of financial worry and paperwork tedium. The house hunting, however, is the fun part. Pouring through those free local real estate websites, driving up and down the block to eyeball porches and bay windows, walking through other people's homes to critique their choice of wallpaper and rifle through their medicine cabinets (because you NEED to see how much space is in there) — all of these things make the home-buying process entertaining. House hunting is exactly that, a hunt. Below are some tips for a successful hunt.

Define your prey.

  • Browse through some real estate websites such as,, and similar. Print out the homes that appeal most to you. You could also peruse local real estate magazines and cut out the ads for the houses you are interested in.
  • Take some time to really reflect on what factors are the most important in your new home. Is it important that you live near a good school? Is a fireplace a non-negotiable desire? Would you prefer a bigger house on a smaller lot, or a smaller house on a bigger lot? Determine what REALLY matters to you.
  • Based on the factors you decided, review all the homes you picked out and narrow your choices down to the homes that meet your criteria.

Scout your territory and gather your weapons.

  • Have Service First Mortgage - The Davidson Group approve you for a home loan in advance through our FirstAssure approval program. This is advantageous for two reasons. One, you know right up front how much house you can afford. Two, sellers don't have to worry about the possibility that you won't be able to get financing. If you need to schedule a time to be pre-approved call us (972)278-3400 or email us at davidsongroup(at)
  • Get a real estate agent (Realtor). They are paid by the seller, not you. The way this works is that the seller has to pay their agent a commission, and if the buyer gets their own agent, the seller's agent has to share that commission. Your agent will look up houses that fit your desires and price range, point out the good things and bad things, negotiate prices and explain paperwork. If you would like us to refer one of our expert Realtor partners, simply give us a call.
  • Provide your Realtor with the MLS number of the homes that met your criteria. They will work hard to help you get as close as possible to your ideal home.
  • If you are relocating somewhere new, try to arrange a trip to meet a Realtor agent and tour the houses for sale yourself. If this is not possible, you might consider renting an apartment or home in your new neighborhood in order to give yourself the opportunity to look at homes before buying. It is difficult to end up happy with a house you've never looked at. Photos can be deceiving.

Stalk your prey, and go in for the kill.

  • Keep a notebook with you while you look at houses. As you tour properties, you can write notes about what you did and did not like about the house and neighborhood. This will help you narrow down your options.
  • When you have found a small handful of houses you like, spend a day in their neighborhoods. Find out where the nearest grocery store is. If you need public transportation, locate nearby bus stops. Look for the post office, movie theater, hospital, Super K-Mart, and whatever else might interest you. When deciding between a few good homes, close proximity to the services you need the most is a good tie breaker.
  • When you are ready to make an offer, have your real estate agent write up the offer with contingencies. This means your offer is only good if certain conditions are met. The one contingency you should not skip is that you will have your own home inspection, and if you are dissatisfied with the results, you do not have to buy the house. Do this even if the seller had their own home inspection. Your agent can recommend other contingencies as appropriate.