If you’re thinking about buying a home, this list can help get your search off on the right foot. While the number of rooms, the condition of the kitchen, and the size of the yard are important, there are other things to think over before you make an offer. Consider these factors.
They say that the three most important things to think about when buying a home are location, location, location. You can live with almost any imperfection in a home if you love the neighborhood and your neighbors. You can change almost everything else. But, once bought, you cannot change your home’s location. When you go house hunting, consider any potential home’s proximity to your work, the charm of the neighborhood, how the home is situated on the lot, ease of access, noise from neighbors, traffic, and pets, as well as access to parks, shopping, schools, and public transportation.
The School District
Does the home you’re looking at fall within the boundaries of the school district you would like your children to attend now and in the future or would another move down the road be required?
The Bedrooms & Bathrooms
Decide how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need, and only look at homes that meet your criteria. It would be a shame to fall in love with a cozy, charming home that isn’t big enough. An extra bedroom is always a plus, as it can be used for a home office, craft studio, or guest room. If you think you’ll be adding more room later, be sure to consult an architect who can advise you on space planning, lot usage, and city regulations.
If the kitchen is the heart of your home, don’t settle for a home with a kitchen that doesn’t work for you. You can always remodel, but it’s very costly. Can you replace cabinet faces and countertops? Will an inexpensive makeover be sufficient? Don’t worry about appliances, as they can usually be easily replaced.
Be sure the neighborhood, and not just the house, meets your expectations. They say that you should own the smallest home in the nicest neighborhood that you can afford. You’ll have a great view! Drive around on weekdays and weekends, during the day and in the evening. Are homes in the neighborhood consistent in size and features? Do the neighbors keep the yards clean and tidy, or are there old cars and trash laying around? Is the neighborhood safe enough for people to walk, run, or bike, and are there children playing in the yards?
The Closets & Storage
Older homes tend to have little closets and not a lot of storage space. If you have lots of sports equipment, craft supplies, out-of-season clothes, and holiday decorations, be sure you know where all this will go in your new home. Newer homes tend to have big closets and lots of storage. You can always add storage space, but you might have to sacrifice living space.
The Windows & Lighting
Do you love a bright sunny room or do you love privacy? Look at homes with light and sunshine in mind. Look at the locations of electrical outlets and fixtures. Will they accommodate your lighting needs? Is there recessed lighting in the kitchen, cove lighting in the family room and a lovely chandelier in the dining room? If not, you can add them later, but it’s nice to have it in place when you move in.
The Finishing Touches
Sometimes the simplest home looks spectacular thanks to the installed moldings, hardware, and fireplace. If these elements are important to you, look for them while house hunting or be ready to add them after you move in.
If you keep these specific elements of a home in mind, your house hunting will be more successful, and you’ll likely end up with the home of your dreams!