Buying a new home can be a very daunting task, as there are many different aspects to consider on a home buyer’s journey. To make your house hunt a little less stressful, we have put together a list of things you should look for and consider as you search for the perfect home. Read below to find out how you can make sure that all of your bases are covered as your step into your house hunt.
What Type Of lifestyle Does Your Family Want?
The type of home you buy and its location should largely depend on the type of lifestyle you and your family would like to have. When deciding whether you want to enjoy an urban lifestyle where you are close to all of the action or have a more rural living experience, it is helpful to imagine your ideal day to day lifestyle for now and for years down the line. Do you imagine yourself walking to all of the hottest local attractions and enjoying the buzz of city life? Or is it easier to see your family spending quality time in an environment that feels more relaxed and secluded? Whatever you decide, it is important to take your answer into consideration when you are on the hunt for a new home. If you are having trouble deciding what lifestyle might work best for you and your family, you can ask yourself a few of the following questions:
- Would you like the option of walking to and from work or social outings?
- Do you own a vehicle? Or do you need to be close to public transportation?
- Do you value quality time at home more than quality time spent out on the town?
- Would you prefer to own a large plot of land?
- How important is convenience and locality to you?
Once you have figured out whether you want to become a city or country dweller, you can then begin to consider the features of a home that will be most functional for you and your family.
It is helpful to imagine your family’s future when deciding how many bedrooms you will need in your new home. Is your family size still growing? Will you have an empty nest within the next decade? Make sure to consider all of these possibilities before deciding how many rooms you need. You may also want to contemplate whether or not you would also like to have a home office, home gym or hobby room in your new home. This can add to the number of bedrooms you will need.
Like with bedrooms, you should consider your family size when deciding how many bathrooms you will need. Additionally, an increased number of bathrooms can add value to a home. This is important to consider if you plan on selling the home sometime in the future.
Storage is an important feature of any home that should be thoroughly considered before home buying occurs. Storage not only includes the number of closets and attic or basement space in the home, but can also include the size of a garage or outdoor storage, such as a shed. Make sure you evaluate how much storage a home has and how much storage you will need before purchasing a new home.
Stairs in a home will usually come down to personal preference, however there are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not your new home will come equipped with stairs. First, having stairs will mean that those with mobility issues may have trouble reaching any bedrooms or bathrooms on the home’s top level. If anyone who frequently visits your home has mobility issues, this is something to discuss with your family. Secondly, if you plan on aging in your home, you might want to think twice about purchasing a home with stairs and especially if the master bedroom is on an upper level. If you do want stairs, but you know you will need to accommodate guests who have mobility issues, it can be a good idea to buy a home with at least one bathroom and bedroom on the ground floor.
If your family enjoys their privacy, you may not be suited for a home that is located on a busy or noisy street. In addition to considering how private the location of your home is, you should also consider privacy and noise inside of your home. Is the living room situated close to the bedrooms where noise might carry and wake a sleeping child? Are the bathrooms located in an area where it is easy for neighbors to peer in? If privacy is important to you, do not forget to contemplate these possibilities before buying a new home.
Before you buy a new home, decide what an ideal monthly utility cost will be for your family. To get an idea of how costly a particular home’s utility bill will be, ask your real estate agent to retrieve copies of a year’s worth of utility bills. If keeping utility costs low is important to you, consider some of the structural features of a home that will allow for better efficiency. These features include low ceilings, new windows and a small footprint. Homes that cover more area and that have high ceilings tend to produce higher monthly utility bills.
Front and Back Yards
There are many aspects to consider when deciding what type of yard you would like in a potential new home. The first is space. Do you want a huge yard with room for a dog to roam or space for a spool? Would you prefer a smaller yard that requires less maintenance? It is worth mentioning that smaller yards will usually come with lower costs, as less maintenance will be required and the selling price for a smaller lot is typically lower. Another feature to consider is how much shade you will want in your yard. Do you want a shady and forested yard or one that receives a lot of direct sunlight? If you cannot decide, it might help to image what type of foliage you will want to grow in your yard. Consider the sun requirements for the plants and go from there. Finally, think about how much privacy you would like to have in your yard.
What Are You Looking For In A Neighborhood?
The location of a home and the amenities that a neighborhood has to offer should also be considered when you are looking to purchase a new home. If you have children, think about the schools in the district they will attend. Are you happy with the quality of these schools? Not only should you consider the school that your children will attend immediately after you move into the neighborhood, but also the schools they will go to until they graduate high school. It can also be worthwhile to think about whether or not a potential new home is in close proximity to libraries, parks, community pools and grocery stores. If you have pets, think about any amenities that might be beneficial to them, such as dog parks or pet stores. If your family owns more uncommon pets, such as chickens, check to see if a neighborhood allows you to keep these animals on your property. Additionally, consider how walkable your neighborhood is. If it is important to you that your children play outside or that you are able to go on daily walks through your neighborhood, make sure there are sidewalks or designated parks close by.
Will Your New Home Require Maintenance Before You Movie in?
There are a few things to look for in terms of structural integrity when you are scouting potential properties for your family. If you do not want a new home that requires much maintenance upon move in, check the fascia and the gutters. Fascia are the boards which run along the lower edge of a roof where the gutters will attach to your home. This is a good place to check for any signs of water damage or rot. Next, make sure you know the history of the home’s roof. Ask your realtor about the roof’s age and how long the material that the roof is made of will last. Finally, learn more about the home’s electrical features. If these features will require repair, it can be costly. For the sake of your budget and your time, consider moving into a new home with electrical features that are in good condition.
Focus On The Structural Aspects
Although it can be challenging not to judge a home by its decorative features, try to refrain from doing so. Instead of looking at a home’s paint job or decor, focus on features like appliances, the home’s foundation and other more permanent characteristics. Once you move into a new home, you can change the decorative elements to suit your family’s preferences.
Check The Furnace
Often times, older homes will be less efficient when it comes to heating and cooling the house. When shopping around for a new home, make sure to check that the furnace is up to date and in good condition.
Investigate The Home’s Plumbing
Just as important as investigating structural aspects of a home is the examination of a home’s plumbing. As you are looking around the kitchen of your potential new home, do not only look at what is readily visible in the space, but poke around under cabinets to check the condition of the plumbing. When investigating the plumbing, look for leaks, water damage and mold. Mold will not only affects the aesthetics of the home, but it can also be harmful to your health. If children, elderly family members or anyone with asthma will be sharing the home with you, mold can be especially aggravating to these more vulnerable individuals.
Check The Surrounding Property
It is easy to get wrapped up in the pros and cons of a new home without considering the land upon which it sits. Before you make any home buying decisions, be sure that you investigate the land around the house itself. Does the house sit on a plot that is prone to flooding? This may seem like a less important aspect of your house hunt, but it is crucial to consider the home’s surroundings as you shop for your new house.
Make Sure Any Potential Home Is Well Insulated
In addition to keeping you comfortable while you are inside of your home, a well insulated house will help to save you money when it comes to your utility bill. Make sure you check that the water pipes, attic and heating ducts are properly installed. Additionally, double paned windows can help with insulation and can also help to save you money further down the line.
Test Out Everything Before You Buy
As you walk through a potential new home, make sure to turn on every faucet, switch on every light switch, flush all of the toilets and check the shower pressure. This is a good way to tell if anything is working in a way that does not suit you or if anything will eventually require repairs.
Always Schedule A Home Inspection
Perhaps one of the most important steps to take before you buy a new home is having a home inspection performed by a qualified professional. A quality home inspection will be able to show you any defects that you might have missed as you did your own walk through. Home inspectors can tell you about the quality of a home’s foundation and if the home’s wiring violates any codes. These inspectors can also tell you if the home uses any lead based paint or if there are any wood eating pests, such as termites, that are causing damage to the home’s structure.
All of us at Natran Green Pest Control hope that this guide will help to make your home buying process easier. Happy house hunting!