Art of the Smart

Things To Do When Buying A House

Lessons I've learned the hard way.

A few quick reminders- mostly to myself- of things to do when buying a house.

From the time your bid is accepted, you are planting the seeds of your own good fortune. Here are some lessons I've learned the hard way and how to help yourself have a successful home ownership journey.

  1. Keep Recording - Every time you're on site, take an insane number of pictures. Every room, multiple angles, every visit. Your phone has the capacity and you never know when you'll need to prove that something changed between visits but before closing.
  2. Ask For Things - If something's broken then ask for a credit. You never know when you can get a thousand bucks off to replace that ancient water heater.
  3. Move Fast - Stay on top of your team and make sure you meet deadlines quickly. Once your bid is accepted, you have a short timeframe to get lots of inspections (home inspection, pest, sewer, pool, roof, etc etc). Even after the due dilligence contingency, stay on top of your lender to avoid any last minute surprises.
  4. Save The Listing - Print to PDF the Redfin and Zillow listings, and offline every photo and video. At best this is useful for documenting changes to the home and always nice to see what the listing description included.
  5. Start A Spreadsheet - Every expense, keep a record of it. A lot is deductible on your taxes or when you sell the place someday. Here's mine.
  6. Floors/Walls Before Move-In - If you're going to replace floors or do dirty work like move walls, do it before move-in. It's much more expensive/difficult with all your furniture in the way.

I'll add more as I think of them.