6 Tips to Shorten The Search When Buying a New Home


In this day and age, everyone wants fast.

We have instant coffee, live streaming, and next-day shipping. We have apps that do our grocery shopping within hours, and voice-controlled virtual assistants that play our favorite music or pencil in meetings in seconds. Humans are constantly pushing barriers to improve efficiency and make our lives easier, and this is just the beginning.

Let's face it—we don’t just like fast—we are obsessed with it. While purchasing a home is a big decision that can take time, it doesn't always have to. If you’re looking to move into your dream home as soon as possible, check out Brunswick Crossing’s advice to shorten the search, while still making sure that you are covering all of your bases:

Get pre-qualified. The first thing that you should do if you are serious about purchasing a new home is to get a mortgage pre-qualification. Many real estate agents will not begin showing a prospective buyer new homes unless they are pre-qualified. By having a mortgage pre-qualification, you show your agent that you are a serious buyer and have the resources to afford a home. Getting pre-qualified will also let you know what your budget is upfront, so you can narrow down your options and have reasonable expectations of what you can afford. If you find a home that you absolutely love but are not yet pre-qualified, you will only delay the home buying process. Get pre-approved before you seek a real estate agent or begin looking at homes will help speed up the process greatly. 

Make a list of priorities. Before you meet with a new home sales consultant or begin researching new communities, pull together a list of must-haves. Do you need a first-floor bedroom? A finished basement? Do you need a two-car garage? Must you have a study or a loft? What square footage would you like? What are some of the most important amenities you want the community to have? There are many questions to ask and much research to be done when you begin looking for new homes, especially with new construction. While putting together this list, make sure to take in the input of the other household members to make sure you are keeping their interests in mind as well.

Make a document on the computer of your list and print out a sheet for each community. Make sure to write the name of the community at the top and cross off the different priorities they have as you see them on your tour. This will be an invaluable resource later on in the decision making the process. 

Compiling a list of important criteria for your new construction home will help narrow down the search immediately. You can cross options off your list quickly and efficiently by comparing the different models and communities with your wants and needs during preliminary research. This list will allow you to stay organized and focused throughout your home buying journey and will allow you to have confidence that your final decision is the best one for your household. 

Find a knowledgeable agent. Finding a new construction home sales consultant who knows the neighborhood and each model’s floor plan is hugely helpful in your home search. Couple their existing knowledge of specific models with your preferences, and you’ve got a new, valuable partner in your home search.

Also, keep in mind that your sales consultant will have a fiduciary responsibility to you. Investopedia defines as fiduciary as someone who, “owes to that other entity the duties of good faith and trust. The highest legal duty of one party to another, being a fiduciary requires being bound ethically to act in the other's best interests.” 

Having someone to cover your best interest in a highly specialized process such as buying a home will help greatly in not only speeding it up, but will also make sure that is being done correctly. Ask around for recommendations and begin interviewing real estate agents if you do not already have one in mind.  

When you find a knowledgeable agent that you like, begin planning trips to go look at homes with them. When you are planning, it is smart to dedicate an entire weekend. It is also important to think about which neighborhoods make sense to view based on proximity or preliminary research and likeability. The agent's time is valuable as well, so it may be wise to do a quick drive through the communities to find your favorites before bringing them along. 

If you are a current homeowner, this agent will likely also be listing your home for sale. Begin this conversation early. If purchasing a new home is contingent on the sale of your current home, then you will want to begin getting your current home ready to go on the market

Ask your questions right away. The home buying process is a lot to handle, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. Even for those of us who aren’t first-time buyers, it has likely been years since your last purchase. Don’t feel guilty for peppering your new home sales consultant with questions, but ask sooner rather than later to expedite the process.

"When you fall in love with a home in a competitive market, you need to be prepared to sign the offer fast and submit it before the deadline," Adriana Mollica, a realtor in Beverly Hills, California, said in an interview with Realtor.com. "There may be some questions you want to ask your lender...or accountant. If you wait until the offer to ask these questions, you may miss the deadline."

Enlist the help of your friends and family. It's easy to become overwhelmed with the many important decision that will have to be made throughout the home buying process. Making sure to keep your family and friends are throughout the process is great way to mitigate stress, seek helpful advice, and receive much-needed support. 

Trust your gut. When it comes to finding a new construction home, you will have to consider many factors. You have to think about everything from the distance to your job and schools, to price, upgrades, and location. Having so many factors playing a part in your final decision will likely lead to you compromising on your wants and focusing on the needs of your household.

No matter what, you should always trust your gut feeling, and be honest and open with your sales consultant when communicating your thoughts and feelings. You and your consultant both have the same goal, which is to get you into a new dream home as smoothly and quickly as possible. 

Purchasing a home is a big life decision, and you will want to make sure that you are making the best decisions possible for yourself and your family. Even if you have the goal of moving into your home quickly, sometimes slowing down will help to speed you up. The best way to do that is by trusting yourself, making sure that you take the time to properly prepare and educate yourself, and to remain open and honest with your sales consultant once you begin looking. The last step is to make sure that you are whole-heartedly committed to the final home of choice before signing a contract.