What To Focus On When Home Shopping

So you're starting your house-hunting journey... you've set your budget, gotten pre-approved, and discussed your wants and needs, and now it's time for the fun part — going to see the homes you've narrowed down!

However, the universal truth of home buying is that you will never find a house that has every single thing on your "must have" list. So, when walking through houses, it's important that you try and focus on your list of needs... specifically on the things you cannot change.

To help break it down for you...

Pay attention to:

Location, neighborhood, and distance from your work, shopping, schools, etc.

In Missouri, whether you're considering the vibrant city life in St. Louis or the quieter suburbs around Kansas City, the location will significantly impact your lifestyle and daily commute.


Yard size and the view / what is surrounding the home.

Missouri is known for its beautiful landscapes, so consider if the home has access to green spaces or scenic views.


Square footage of the home.

Make sure the space meets your needs for living and storage.

The number of bedrooms/bathrooms, the bedroom sizes, etc.

These are key factors, especially if you're planning to grow your family or frequently host guests.


Your non-negotiables list.

Stick to it, but be prepared to compromise on smaller details.


Condition of major systems like the HVAC and roof.

In Missouri, the weather can be quite variable, so ensuring these systems are in good shape can save you money and hassle down the road.

Ignore things like:

Seller’s style and decor.

This is temporary and can easily be changed.


Clutter and disorganization.

Try to envision the space without the current owner's belongings.


Poor landscaping.

Landscaping can be a fun DIY project or something you can hire out to improve.

Don't worry about the paint color, and who cares if the house has horrible brass fixtures and ugly carpet? You can change those things in a couple of days without dropping a ton of money. Try and look beyond the surface, and even the dated kitchen, to see the hidden potential of a home, and you might just check off all of your "must-have" items!

Happy house hunting in the beautiful state of Missouri!

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