9 Key Considerations When House Hunting

Are you looking for a new home? Trying to find the best one can feel like a massive burden. Get an idea of what to look for before you begin the house hunting journey, and you’ll improve your chances of finding the perfect home sooner rather than later! Recognize your lifestyle goals and needs – really know what works for you, what your deal-breakers are, and what you want in a home. You deserve it. Additionally, it is crucial to make sure things in a potential new home are in decent shape. You don’t want to end up with tons of costly repairs and renovations! Continue reading for some important tips to keep in mind while searching for the right home:

1. Get a professional inspection before buying.
A professional inspector will make sure the home is in adequate physical condition. Even if the home looks like it’s in tiptop shape, remember that the house has been spiffed up in order to draw attention to its best features. Or more negatively, a buyer could attempt to distract you from potential issues! A professional inspector is less likely to be duped. If you find a property that could be right for you, it’s highly recommended you inform the seller that a professional inspection is a condition of buying the house.

2. Be wary of damage and issues.
There are red flags that you can easily pick up on before involving an inspector. One of the first and most significant things to notice when viewing a listing is whether or not the place seems well-kept. If some features appear neglected, this could indicate that the seller hasn’t properly maintained the home, resulting in a wide array of potential problems you’ll have to deal with! Pay attention to the scents: are there musky smells? This may indicate water damage or mold. Check if the outside appears well-maintained. Is the grass overgrown? Does the roof appear dilapidated? Does the foundation look uneven? Nonchalantly open and close windows and doors as you walk through. Are the windows poorly installed? Do the doors close properly? Take note if there are leaky faucets, watermarks on the ceilings, if there is enough ventilation, if doorknobs feel wobbly, etc.

3. Is the location satisfactory?
Think about whether or not the home is in close proximity to the places you need regular access to. If not, are you willing to spend more in gas money and extra time driving? Or, is the listing close to public transportation access? Perhaps you’d truly love a home with a sunny backyard, or close to a park or walking trail so that you can easily achieve your daily exercise. If you’d prefer a peaceful and quiet atmosphere, consider how noisy the neighborhood seems. Is there a freeway close by? Also, take notice if the house is next to a body of water. Sure, this probably looks and sounds lovely, but it could also lead to flooding! If you are interested in a particular house, it’s smart to drive-by at different times of the day and night in order to get a well-rounded feel of the area and neighborhood-vibes.

4. Does the site fit your needs and desires?
Observe how the home was designed, the land it sits on and whether or not it will be accessible for you and your family. Are there many stairs? Will it be easy to park all of the vehicles? If you have pets or children (or plan to), will the home be suitable for them? Does the home feel private enough, in terms of things like fencing, the backyard and proximity to your neighbors? Ponder questions like these as you navigate the site and explore the property.

5. Ensure the size of the house is appropriate.
Obviously, consider the amount of people who will be moving into the home with you! Will you need a lot of space? Only view houses that have the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms. A very spacious house can be nice, but beware–more room means more expenses! It’s more costly to keep a larger house warm in the winter, for example. A larger house will also mean more maintenance.

6. Notice the potential for storage space.
When viewing a house, ponder whether or not the home will have enough space for your possessions. Do you have a large wardrobe? How big are the closets? Does the house have a garage or basement? Think of the hobbies and occupations held by those in your household: you may need room for heaps of toys, art supplies, ice skates, surfboards, books, suits, boots, musical instruments, DVDs, etc. It would be a shame to begin moving in, only to realize that you have nowhere to put various things. Some storage space can be added, but it’s still very helpful to consider this!

7. Consider the lighting.
You may desire large and/or many windows that let in sun throughout the day, or you may want to ensure that you have sufficient privacy in certain rooms. In the latter case, notice whether or not neighbors or passersby can easily see inside. Pay attention to where the electrical outlets are placed and imagine where you’d situate your lamps or chandeliers, can you achieve the lighting scheme you’re after?

8. Does the kitchen suffice?
For many, the kitchen is the most important room of the house. For others, not a huge amount of time is spent there. Once again, know what you want and need before embarking on your house-hunting journey. If you or your spouse love to cook, make sure there is enough counter space and room to store kitchen accessories and utensils. Scope out the cabinets – will they have enough room for all of your dishware and spices? Is there a dishwasher? Questions like these can certainly be deal-breakers for many seeking their new home!

9. Do the bathrooms fit your lifestyle?
Are you somebody who enjoys taking baths? It may be worth it to make sure the bathroom (or one of the bathrooms) has a nice tub. If you regularly need to get up early to prepare for work, consider whether or not there is a bathroom to facilitate this without disturbing the rest of your family – perhaps attached to the master bedroom.

Finding the best new home for you and your family can be a daunting mission. There are so many listings out there bursting with charm, you’ll need to prioritize what you truly want and need. Understanding red flags and the advantages of having an inspection are central to staying calm and making the best possible decision you can. As you venture out with the intention of finding the right place to call home, it’ll really help to follow key tips such as those listed above. When in doubt, contact your Realtor for more advice on finding your new dream home.