If you are in the market to buy a home in Chicago, one of the most important things you can do is keep yourself organized! When you are actively house hunting, things can start to run together. You might forget about negative aspects of a home while you are daydreaming about the wraparound porch. You might misplace a number, or forget about an open house you wanted to see.
Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make. And buyer’s remorse can set in hard if you don’t consider all of the details of a home. Below, we have put together our favorite ways to keep yourself organized when buying a house in Chicago!
Get Your Priorities Straight
Before you start looking, take some time to prioritize your needs. Everyone in the family should write down the things they want. Together, narrow this list down to a few “absolute must-haves.” When you are shopping for your home, keep these things in mind, and don’t compromise on them. This will help you to stay focused and stop you from buying a home that isn’t right for you.
Make a Chart
Some people use Excel, others are more analog and use something they can physically write on while viewing properties. The y-axis can have the property address, while the x-axis will have things such as price, square footage, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, yard (size & description), year built, features, comps, number of floors, size of the garage, the commute time, etc. Keep this as a handy reference to narrow down the homes you are interested in.
Take photos of every property you see. Take lots of them. Take video if possible. You will want to reference back to these pictures when you are making your decisions. You might even find things in the pictures that you hadn’t noticed in person. Pictures say a thousand words, and taking several will help you to remember it all.
Keep Contacts in Order
You will meet a lot of people on your journey to buy a home. Realtors, appraisers, bank employees, inspectors, title professionals and more. Make a list that includes everybody’s name, email, website, phone number and any other details you want to have. Having these numbers handy at all times will make things much easier for you.
Make a Calendar
Create a calendar that has all of your important buying and selling dates, appointments, deadlines, bill due dates, appraisal date and so on. You will have many things to keep track of, and visually seeing it all on a calendar will help you stay on top of it all. If you are selling a home, you will have many additional dates to keep track of. You can use an online calendar, or a physical planner to keep your important dates and all your notes. It’s all about what works for you.
Now, with all this extra time you have gained from being so organized, don’t forget to have some fun! Imagine your new home! Envision everything you want! Pick out your new room colors, find the hardware you love. You can track awesome things you see for your house as well! Then, when it’s time to redecorate, you will have all of your favorite ideas saved. This is a fun and exciting time, remember to enjoy the process!