This is the third part in this series for new buyers planning to buy a home in Iowa City. Iowa City is a very transient town and there are lots of buyers relocating to Iowa City. For relocating buyers time is of the essence. They don’t have the option to “pop over” to see a home anytime it suits them. For relocating buyers, the first two steps of the home buying process, Getting Pre-approved and the Wants, Needs & Wishes List are even more important than for regular buyers who live in Iowa City and have the luxury of time to spend browsing neighborhoods and checking out open houses before moving forward. That said, local buyers get discouraged too if they spend a lot of time looking at houses and have trouble finding one that “fits.” In other words, dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s is recommended whether you’re relocating to the Iowa City area or you already live here!
Questions for Your Wants, Needs & Wishes List
- How near/far do you want to be from workplace/school?
- Do you want an older or a newer home?
- What type/style home would you like? (Single Family, Condo, Ranch, Two Story, etc)
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
- Is a garage a “must-have?” If yes, how many stalls?
- Are children older or younger? In the case of younger children you’ll probably want the bedrooms on one level. In the case of older, quite the opposite.
- Are there any pets? Is a fenced-in yard a high priority?
Why Planning and the Right Agent are Key to Finding the Right Home Faster
So what’s next? You’ve looked at lots of homes online and now comes the fun part. Getting out there and looking at homes “in person.” Of course you’ve picked out a buyer’s agent to work with.
There are MANY reasons why working with a (good) buyer’s agent is a good idea. For buyers relocating to Iowa City there is one over-riding logistical reason.It’s simply not feasible to coordinate your day properly if you have to rely on the schedules of several listing agents. Having one agent coordinate things is simply more efficient.
Finding the right home is what’s important to you. This is where your Wants, Needs and Wishes List will come in handy. This is also a time when the value of a good agent will become apparent. Good buyer’s agents aren’t just door openers. A good buyer’s agent is an ally, someone to keep you on track by looking at the bigger picture. After all, you’ve got a lot on your mind, plus if you’re relocating you don’t know the area. It may seem like a quiet neighborhood now, but what about on Game Day? It says in the listing the owners charge parking on Game Days… This might be a deal maker or a deal breaker for you. For my clients it was a deal breaker and we moved onto the next house.
Different agents have different approaches when it comes to viewing homes. In my case, when I’m out with buyers viewing homes I like to use what I call an “elimination process” to come up with the right home. When viewing homes I ask clients if it’s a keeper or if we can kick it out of the running. To figure that out it becomes a question of referring back to that handy Wants Needs & Wishes List. What do you absolutely have to have? And what can you live without? By eliminating homes as you go, you’ll naturally end up with a couple that make the cut and become viable options. Of course they’re only viable until they get kicked off the list, but at some point in time the winning house will rise to the surface and you’ll be on your way to Step 4: Making An Offer