The Fun “House Hunting” Guide

Love Buying a Home Series

The “Love Buying Your Home” series will take you step-by-step through the entire home-buying process — from finding a buyer’s agent to settlement day, and even to maintaining your home after you’re all moved in. Every first-time buyer will find this information-packed series easy to follow and understand. Make sure to tune in for the next few weeks!

It’s a Process

When you first thought about buying a home, you probably thought about the house hunting part of it, right?

It sounds fun and exciting, almost like you’re starring in your own HGTV episode!

But when you’re right in the thick of viewing homes, it can be stressful and overwhelming. Lots of information to take in and so many decisions to make.

There’s no reason it has to be that way!

I’ve developed some simple strategies that will streamline your search and make you “shop” productively.

For example, one strategy is called the “Three Buckets”.

The “Three Buckets” Strategy

Every factor you need to consider when house hunting fits into one of these three buckets—budget, location, and features. Each bucket doesn’t have to be equal in “weight” but the total weight combined of the three buckets must balance the scale they sit on. And, if you can’t find a home you want or you feel frustrated with the lack of options, all we have to do is adjust what’s in the bucket just a little at a time so they all still stay balanced.


One of the first steps before you house hunt is to get pre-qualified for a mortgage by a loan officer.Going through this process requires you to know your monthly budget and what you can afford to pay toward a mortgage. I emphasize monthly mortgage payments, first and foremost, before you move on to price range.

Once you’re pre-qualified, you’ll have narrowed down a price range you can afford. Then you can search for homes within your pre-qualified amount.


There are certain factors in a location – both desirable and undesirable — that you should consider when you look at a home for yourself and for resale value. Does the neighborhood have good schools? Is the home on a busy corner lot?

Also, keep in mind that revitalizing neighborhoods can be on your list if “desirable” neighborhoods are out of your price range. An up-and-coming neighborhood could be a bargain if you time it right, but you do need to tread carefully.

Once you narrow down a location, your budget will determine what type of home you can afford in that particular neighborhood – such as a detached home, townhome or condo unit.


Your criteria are things like how big of a home, how many bedrooms or bathroom, storage space, condition, etc.  Aspects about the home itself you require. It can include both needs and wants. In our initial consultation we will go over this, and even write it down on a paper so that neither one of us forget throughout the process. This list will make your search much more efficient and keep you focused on what is important to you and your family in a home, in a location, or in a lifestyle that you picture yourself in every day.

You might never find the “perfect” home but you must decide what you need and also want in your first home.

Go back and review “How Your Needs and Desires Lead to Home Sweet Home” to get more details.

Here’s How to Make it Less Stressful

Now that you understand the three buckets – budget, location, and criteria – it’s time to put them all together. When we start looking at homes, there should be homes to look at! If what you are wanting, in the area you are wanting it, in a price the matches your budget doesn’t exist… we need to readjust our buckets. Maybe we need to be looking somewhere else, or maybe we need to increase our budget.

This give and take in balancing or aligning the three buckets helps make your home search more methodical and organized.  Most buyers have to make these adjustments while house hunting so don’t be disappointed if you do too.

Keep coming back here each and every week to learn more about the home buying process and reach out to me through email at anytime with questions about how what you are learning applies to YOUR specific situation.  Just like every real estate agent is unique, so is every buyer and I’d love to help you apply what you are learning in this series to YOUR home buying plans. 


Hi, there!

I'm McCall Carter and I love helping first time home buyers make their first home more affordable and I love helping sellers looking to move up to their forever home. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true. 

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2901 Ashton Blvd. #102 
Lehi, UT 84043


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Hi, there!

I'm McCall Carter and I love helping first time home buyers make their first home more affordable and I love helping sellers looking to move up to their forever home. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true. 

schedule your free consultation


My Listings


All Articles