Shopping for a new home is an exciting time. Emotions like anxiety, anticipation, pleasure, and frustration all seem to work together to create a jumble of feelings surrounding home buying. A lot has to do with expectations of home buying based on prior home-buying experiences, or the lack thereof. Having a list of important things to look for when home shopping can help reduce some of the anxiety and prevent some of the frustration that can occur when looking for a new home.
#1) Detail Awareness: While house hunting, emotions can cloud a person’s judgment and memory. Spending the walkthrough just imagining living in a new place can prevent an individual from paying attention to important details. Write down all the details you think may be important for decision-making like parking, the condition of neighboring homes, the quality of the home’s finishes, road noise, special features of the home, and quality and proximity to the schools.
#2) Location, location, location: The three rules of real estate should never be overlooked. Is this the right location for you? Is the commute reasonable? Is it too close to the neighbors? Is it a location that will be easy to resell later on? Asking oneself these questions can prevent a lot of frustration down the road.
#3) Scope out the neighborhood: Before making a final decision, make several visits to the house you are considering. Drive into the neighborhood in the morning, afternoon, and evening and look at things like traffic, activity in the neighborhood, and variations in home size and quality. Make sure it is a neighborhood that is well kept and that there are many houses comparable to the one you’re considering, before you buy. If you buy one of the biggest homes in the neighborhood, it will prevent value growth in your home.
#5) Size and Floor Plan: You may really like this house, but is it the right size for your needs? Is it going to be a tight squeeze, or is it perhaps a bit too much room for you to clean, heat, light, cool, and maintain? Think about the cost of utilities, cleaning, furnishing, decorating, and maintaining the house. Is there enough storage space in the home for your family’s needs?
#6) Projects: Is this home move-in ready or, like most homes, does it have some work to be done? How extensive and expensive is that work? What condition are the windows in? How about the kitchen? A kitchen is often considered the heart of the home. Examine the kitchen’s space, function, and appeal. Finally, take a good long look outside at the exterior and landscaping. Curb appeal is important for resale. After writing down all the work you will need to put into the home, consider the costs of time and money and decide if it is worth it to you.
Finding the right home for you is a fun and exciting process, but should be done with awareness and care. This is a decision that will impact your future in a very real way. Using this list of things to look for can help you choose the right home for your needs.