Buying, Renting

House Hunting Tips and Checklist

Do you know what to look for when house hunting? Where do you even start? To help answer these questions we have created a House Hunting Checklist for you to bring when shopping for the perfect home.

It is important that you do some research before you go. You can use our Mortgage Connection Center to find out whether it’s practical for you to buy or rent, if you can afford a $50,000 or $500,000 home, get pre-approved for loans, and even ask questions and get professional advice. As a first time home buyer  understanding your boundaries and educating yourself can alleviate the stress and anxieties about making a home purchase.

You may want to create a list of your needs, wants, and do not wants to share with your real estate professional and remind yourself of your priorities. Keep the checklist handy to make sure the home you’re looking at is right for you. Here are some tips to follow when house hunting:


  • Neighborhoods

    Check the surrounding area and find information on – Commute to work, Public Lighting, Pet Friendliness, Crime Rate, Public Transportation Access, Grocery Stores, Hospitals, and Schools.

  • Cell Phone Coverage

    Use apps that are useful for house hunting.

  • Local Neighborhood Home Values

    Compare home values. How much are nearby homes in the same neighborhood selling for?

  • Additional Fees

    Ask about average monthly bills. Are there monthly neighborhood or club house fees? How much is insurance and property tax? Is there a fee for garbage removal?

When browsing a home, make sure you take notice of all the details; good and bad. Here are some questions to ask yourself or your real estate professional, and items to check for when house hunting:


  • Flooring, Windows, & Ceiling

    Check and make note of the age and condition of the flooring, windows, and ceilings – this can be used to plan for any renovations or updates the house may need.

  • Walls

    Are there any stains? Will you need to repaint them? Are they soundproof?

  • Bathrooms & Kitchen

    Check to see if the faucets are stain-free, mildew/mold-free, and leak-free. There should be plenty of storage and cabinet space. Make sure the bathrooms have working fans and flush the toilet to make sure it functions properly.

  • Rooms

    Is there enough natural lighting? Are the floors even? Does the home have smoke detectors installed?

  • Stairs

    Do they creak or show any sign of damage?

  • Doors

    Make sure they open and close properly and check locks to make sure they work and are in good condition. Are the doors weatherproofed? Does the doorbell work?

  • Systems

    This includes electrical, heating, air conditioning, security, plumbing, insulation, water, and sewer systems. Is everything up to date? Hire a home inspector to double check everything before purchasing.


Don’t forget the exterior of the house!


  • Roof

    Make sure there is no sagging roof line, discoloration, or holes that may cause leaking.

  • Foundation, Driveway, & Pool

    Check for any damage in the foundation, driveway, and pool by looking for visible cracks.

  • Siding

    Is the paint peeling? Are there any cracks or splits?

  • Landscaping & Curb Appeal

    Are the trees, lawns, and fence in good condition?

  • Garage

    Whether it is manual or remote controlled, make sure that it functions.

  • Patio/Deck

    Are they stable and in good condition?

  • Pests

    Check for signs of infestation of bugs such as termites, mosquitoes, ants, mice, and roaches.


Other Tips:

  • Take photos
  • Wear comfortable clothing
  • Interview & find a realtor before you take a tour
  • Bring a map
  • Ask about any known damages or home history
  • Stay in your budget
  • Keep your expectations realistic

Download the house hunting checklist now!

house hunting checklist

House hunting can be stressful, but organizing and making sure each home is evaluated can help you feel some control and keep track of homes you tour in the process. If you print a few of these, they could be used as scorecards to do side-by-side comparisons. When you do move in to your dream home, try reading tips on how to make your move smooth and enjoyable for a stress-free experience! Good Luck & Happy House Hunting!

See more posts by this author