Looking for a new home is an exciting time but it takes time to find the perfect fit. There are countless open houses and private walkthroughs to be scheduled. But all the time and effort is well worth it when you find the home of your dreams.
To make the home buying experience a bit easier, it would be worth your while to make a home viewing checklist. Start with what is most important to you in a new home; is it the location, or the privacy of the backyard or updated appliances? Have your list go from deal breakers to things you are willing to bend for. Having a plan will make your search purposeful and precise.
Many homes that are on the market are staged to the buyers viewing pleasure. And while this is a great way to market and highlight a home, make sure you look past the glamour of the staging. Here are some things to keep in mind when you get ready to go on your walkthroughs.
Not the paint and décor, those can be changed. You are going to want to focus on the design and layout of the home. Does it flow well for you and your family? Is a master on the first floor appealing to you or would you prefer it on the second floor? Think of the way you prefer to move around your home and make sure the home you are viewing is conducive to your needs.
Don’t feel self-conscious about looking up and down. Look at the ceiling for roof leaks and look down to the baseboards for warped wood. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so get down to the nitty gritty and make sure everything is working well.
If appliances come with the home, make sure they are up to date, clean and usable. Turn on lights and switch on fans, and if you are not comfortable with touching anything, ask your realtor to lend a hand while they walk you through the home.
While scoping out the actual living areas of a home is important, the outside of the home needs special attention, as well. The outside must brace the elements of rain, snow, wind, and sunlight, so make sure things like the roof, gutters, siding, and foundation are all functioning properly.
Landscaping is also important to factor into your home budget. Will there be a lot of upkeep or will you want to change some things? Even if you like how it looks now, keep in mind that there’s work being put into it.
Everyone has different preferences, so if a home doesn’t have the type of heating and cooling you are looking for, feel free to ask if switching would eventually be a possibility. This would be something you would oversee doing after you purchase the home but it doesn’t hurt to ask if the home is capable of making the changes you need.
If a home you are viewing is a serious contender, ask about the average utility costs. You will get more detailed information about the furnace and air conditioner after your home inspection if you decide to purchase, but it’s always good to have more information up front. You are potentially going to be living in this house, so you need to know how everything works.
Making the List
Being upfront with what is important to you and your family is vital in finding a home. And jotting down these important factors will help keep you on track through your home viewing process. It will be rare to find a home that checks off all of your favorite things. However, once you know what it is you are looking for, it will make it easier to weed out the homes that don’t make the cut. Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you can make, so putting in the work will bring no shame to your home shopping game!