Congratulations on taking the first step to buying a new home: research. You are probably overwhelmed by the processes, choices and options you will likely encounter during this time. Whether this is your first time buying a home, or the last home you plan on buying in your life, we are here to ease you through the decision making process by listing out what you should look for when buying a new home.
5 Things to Look for When Buying a Home
The first and most important element to narrow down is location. Looking for homes in a variety of locations including cities and states is extremely difficult, confusing, and tiresome. The sooner you are able to narrow down the location in which you want to live, the better off you will be. This is not to say you should narrow down the specific neighborhood or street at this time. We are simply suggesting solidifying a general area to continue your home search in rather than keeping an entire state or large city “open” as viable options. There are pros and cons to most cities; researching schools, nearby amenities and other items of interest to you and your family is highly recommended prior to making this decision.
The next thing we suggest paying close attention to when buying a new home is the community the house is in. Community is something that you cannot change once you move in, unlike the paint color of the walls. Picking a home in a welcoming and active community will have a dramatic and positive influence on your move, as well as the first few months, even years, in your new home! Be on the lookout for master planned communities as well. Master planned communities encompass so much more than basic neighborhoods do. They provide residents and community members with a bounty of amenities, including safety, security and a strong sense of involvement. To learn more about master planned communities and what makes them so unique, read our article titled: Top Reasons to Live in a Master Planned Community
Similar to when choosing a community, neighbors are one other element you cannot change once moved in. As unfortunate is it may be, you cannot control who moves into your neighborhood, or who already lives next door to your future house. This is why choosing a home in a good neighborhood, as well as an active community is exceptionally important. Living next to families you can call friends can have a significant impact on your life and experience in your new home. Additionally, pay close attention to the front yards of neighbors near any and all homes you may be considering. Curb appeal is important for a number of reasons and you can tell a lot about people by the way they take care of (or don’t take care of) their front yards.
Unless you are planning on adding on to your new house in the future, space is extremely important. Think about how much space you have in your current home and come to a square footage that would work for you and your family, whether existing or growing. You won’t want to live in a house that is much too large as it will take extra work to furnish, decorate and keep clean! Similarly, living in a small house in which you are squished with over-sized furniture and not enough rooms is never fun. Come to a conclusion on what size house will work for you and your family, and go from there. Keep in mind that adding on to an existing home is costly, but doable.
When looking for your new house, pay particular attention to specific features that are musts for you and your family. We always suggest making a list of necessities; features that you wouldn’t be able to happily or comfortably live without. Don’t add too many things to the list, just the real necessities. For instance, if you are a growing family with two kids, planning for one more, and you want each child to grow up with his or her own bedroom, 4 bedrooms should be added to the list of necessities. Similarly, if you are a retiree and want to plan for the future, a single story home may be something you’d like to add to your list of necessities. Every family will have their own unique list, but this list will help you ease through the homebuying process and keep you focused on those features that really matter.
Location, community, neighbors, space, and specific features round out our list of 5 things to look for when buying a house. Of course, this list does not include everything to look for, but it’s a great start and will surely help you narrow down the selection to viable homes that you can see you and your family living in for many years to come.