So you have had some time to review the properties in your custom search and you are ready to get out and take a look.  It is good practice to pick out 4-6 properties per showing outing.  This amount will help you remember the details about each home.  If you try to schedule too many properties, all of the homes start to run together and it becomes more difficult to identify the things that you like.

When it comes to viewing properties in person, it’s best to prioritize each one using the following method.

First: Location

The location should be the number one consideration.  Not only does the home need to be in the right neighborhood that fits your search and lifestyle, but it also needs to be in the right location within that neighborhood.  Houston does not have any zoning, which means that a home can be next door to a commercial property or a property type that may not be desirable.  It’s also a good idea to consider traffic issues when deciding whether a property is in a good location.  For example, a home on the corner of a busy street could have a higher level of street noise and traffic.  The same applies to a home located adjacent to a school.  Your Realtor should be able to provide expert advice when it comes to picking the home in the right location.  Location is important for the first-time homebuyer because it impacts the home owner’s lifestyle, but it’s also important to consider the location for resale.  A home that is in a good location will sell much quicker and for a higher price than one that is poorly located.

Second: Floor Plan

After you have determined that the homes you are viewing are in the right locations, your second consideration should be the floor plan.  Although it is possible to modify a home’s floor plan, these renovations can be costly and time-consuming.  Ideally, the homes that you identify as your favorites will have a floor plan that meets your needs and will have a positive impact on resale.  The most marketable floor plans in the current market have an open floor plan that allows a good flow from the kitchen and living areas.  It’s also important to consider the size of the rooms.  Your Realtor can provide advice when it comes to identifying good floor plans.

Third: Finishes

Finishes are important, but they should not take priority over the location and floor plan.  A home’s finishes are the easiest thing to change and can often be done while you live in the home.  If you don’t have the funds or time to update or change finishes in the near-term, it’s a good idea to focus on homes that have existing finishes that are move-in ready.  Your Realtor should be able to refer you to a contractor that can give you an estimate on how much it may cost to update your favorite home’s finishes.

This is the fifth post in our ongoing series aimed to provide help and guidance to Houston’s first-time home buyers.  Check back with us soon, subscribe to our feed, or follow us on Twitter or Facebook for updates on this topic.

This is the fifth post in our ongoing series aimed to provide help and guidance to Houston’s first-time home buyers. Click here to check out the 6th Step for Houston’s First-time Homebuyers. Or if you would like to speak to a real live human about these questions and steps, fill out the form below.


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