You know the feeling when you struggle to find something to watch on Netflix because it’s just so overwhelming with the number of shows and movies to choose from? Well, the same thing can happen when it comes to house hunting! There are so many real estate websites and so many houses to look at. Digging through countless websites, having your phone glued to your hand, constantly hitting refresh to make sure you don’t miss anything can get a little tiring. Instead, there is a simple method you can implement to make it a whole lot easier. When you learn how to house hunt “Netflix style” it’ll save you a ton of time and prevent those feelings of overwhelm – I promise! So here’s how to do it!
Step 1 – Find your Homestyle Genre: This is about going beyond the general criteria of 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a 1-acre lot. This is about diving deep and figuring out what you’re specifically looking for in a house. Ask yourself questions such as:
-Which space in a house is most important to you?
-Which room will you spend the most time in? Is the living room where you’ll spend quality time every night or is the outdoor space more important because you want to be surrounded by nature and have ensured privacy?
-Next, think about words that would describe your ideal home. Do words like cozy and full of character come to mind? Or does modern and luxury sound more like your taste?
-What is a space or feature you don’t currently have but would love to have? More space to entertain? A private yard with mature trees? A designated home office space that will allow you to do more focused work?
By thinking outside the box about the lifestyle you want your future home to provide, you’ll begin to paint a better picture of which home features to pay more attention to and which style of home will be the best fit.
STEP 2 – Determine What’s Trending: Just like Netflix gives you a list of “Trending movies” you’re going to make your own list of what’s trending when it comes to what is important to you in your future home. After writing down answers to the previous questions, create a list of your top 3 home must-haves and deal-breakers. Next, you’re going to review everything you wrote down. Do you see any themes or details that pinpoint the type of house you are going to fall in love with aside from the number of bedrooms? Your list could be painting a picture of an open concept style home with lots of storage and natural light. Or maybe your style is a home with more separated spaces with a major focus on the style and layout of the kitchen.
STEP 3 – Create Your Home List Based on Your Preferences: Before starting this step, you’ll want to make sure you’re working with a Real Estate Agent so they can set up your custom home search for you. They will take all of the general criteria that you’re looking for and customize your home search so that you can will receive a list of all the homes on the market that match the main criteria you’re looking for. This is where it’ll narrow down your minimums for bedrooms, baths, lot size, square footage, year built, etc. This is also the time you may want to browse through any other sites that you’ve been searching on and write down any homes you’ve had your eye on so you can bring everything together with your real estate agent.
STEP 4 – Preview Homes: Once you’ve compiled the entire list of homes that meet your search criteria, you’re going to want to preview them online before scheduling a showing! Looking at homes online is considered a first showing because there is so much you can see and learn about a home before ever stepping foot in the house. When you’re previewing the homes, have the list of the questions you answered handy so you can see which ones fit what you’re truly looking for. If a common theme was entertaining space and open concept rooms – you’ll probably want to avoid homes that have a smaller kitchen and living area or lack open areas.
STEP 5 – Narrow the List Down to Your Top 5: Here’s an example of how this looks: Let’s say your favorite space in a home is the living room, you want a house with lots of character and charm and your deal-breaker is a cookie-cutter subdivision. Along with that, you need at least 3 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms.
When your custom search comes up with the list of homes and one of the homes meets the 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths criteria but was built last year in a new subdivision of homes with the same builder, all on quarter-acre lots and has a smaller living room, you’ll probably want to consider eliminating this one because it isn’t meeting your main needs.
After previewing the homes and comparing each one to what you have on your list, it’s time to narrow the list of homes down to your “Top 5”. These are the 5 homes you’ll want to schedule showings for and begin your search with. From there, if none of those work for you, keep your search going this same way. Watch for new homes to hit the market (like the new releases on Netflix) and if they meet your detailed criteria, set up a showing!
By house hunting with this method, you’ll eliminate the stress of feeling like you need to see every single 3 bedrooms, 2 bath home when you truly know what you’re looking for and can eliminate many of them online. That way when you schedule a showing to see a home that truly fits what you want, you’ll know what to look for instead of becoming overwhelmed with all of the other homes that really don’t meet your needs at all.