Tips for Starting Your Northern MN Home Search

Whether you want a home on Lake of the Woods or Rainy River, a house in Thief River Falls with 10 + acres, or a cabin on the snowmobile trail in Roseau, house hunting can often be frustrating for any buyer if you aren’t prepared.

Recently realtor.com published an article, “How to Find Your Dream Home — Without Losing Your Mind”. Below are some highlights from the blog on tips for searching for a home in Northern MN to help keep your sanity.

1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before You Start Your Search
We can’t stress this enough. One way to show you are serious about buying a home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin your search. Understanding your budget will help you to know whether or not your dream home is within reach & won’t leave you disappointed if the home you fall in love with ends up being outside your budget.

2. Make a Must-Have List & Stick To It
Do you really need a house that has 3 full bathrooms? Could the ‘home theatre room’ you’ve always wanted be a future renovation project instead of a make-or-break right now?  Does the kitchen need to have subway tile for the backsplash?

Before you start your home search, write down the features of a home and list your ‘must-haves’ and ‘would-like-to-haves’. This will help keep you focused on what’s most important when looking for hours and hours for your perfect home in Northern MN.

3. Home In on the Neighborhood
Every Northern MN community has its own personality. Before you commit to a home based solely on the house itself, spend some time in the community and make sure the area meets your criteria for amenities, commute, school district, etc…

4. Pick a House Style and Forget About the Others
Just because you’ve narrowed your search to a zip code, doesn’t mean that you need to tour every home in that zip code.

For example, “if you have several younger kids and don’t want your bedroom on a different level, steer clear of Cape Cod–style homes, which typically feature two or more bedrooms on the upper level and the master on the main.”

5. Document Your Visits
By the fifth property, everything is going to start to blur together during a marathon day of showings. Keep your camera handy and take a picture of the house as you pull up and take some photos of your favorite things about the house. Make notes on the listing sheet as you tour the property of what you loved about the house and what you didn’t love. Does the house feature many of those things on your ‘must have’ list or is it more of an I’d like to have list?

6. Remember Only the Top Three Contenders
Narrow your search down to three homes. Tour those three a second time, then make an offer. After your offer has been excepted, stop looking. The grass is rarely greener on the other side.

Whether it’s your first house or your fifth, when you are ready to buy, give the team at Reed Realty a call.  Our agents in Baudette, International Falls, Warroad, Roseau, Thief River Falls and everywhere in between will work with you until we find the right property for you at the right price.

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International Falls, MN