What to look for when buying a home? That is a broad and big question! Although each individual will have their own specific needs, there are certain things to consider when looking for a home to buy.
What to Look for When Buying a Home
#1 – Know Your Budget – Every buyer needs to know how much they can safely afford before they even begin to look for homes. It doesn’t make sense to start searching for homes in the $350k when what you can afford is around $175k. This can easily lead to unrealistic expectations and some big let downs. Homes’ sizes, designs, features, construction qualities all vary significantly over that big of a price range. Know your budget and look at what you can afford.
#2 – In what community do you want to live? – We often start here as we being your home search. You want to have a good idea of what community and even a general part of a city you’d like to live in. My search will include a larger area, but if you are set on sending your kids to a particular school, we need to dial in our search within that district. Here are some of my first considerations:
- Schools – What is important to your family? Are you open to school of choice? You can check out school ratings here.
- Work – What is an OK travel time for your job? For example – A search radius of a 30-minute drive is much larger than wanting a 15-minute drive.
- Highways, Stores, Shopping – Do you need to be very close to grocery stores? Do you want easy access to the area highways?
- Neighborhood Types – Do you want families in a similar stage of life as your own? Do you like being in the city? Do you want more privacy?
#3 – The Home Itself: Interior – As we go through a home, here are common areas I direct our clients to explore.
- Flooring – Inspect the flooring to not only see if you like it but also check its condition. Would you want to replace any? Are there areas of concern?
- Windows – Are they in good condition? Are they new or old? Do they have storms on them? Screens?
- Walls – Paint? Wallpaper? Are they in good shape?
- Bathrooms – Do they fit your family? Are the plumbing fixtures stain-free, leak free? How much storage do they have? Vent fans?
- Kitchen – Does it fit your family? How much storage does it offer? Do you like the layout? Do you like the appliances? Do they work well?
- Rooms – Are there enough for your needs? How much natural light do they offer? Do you like how they feel?
- Mechanical Systems – Does the furnace, AC, etc. function well? Can we approximate their age? A home inspector will help a lot here if/when you are ready to buy the home!
Plenty of storage in this pantry!
#4 – The Exterior of the Home is important. It can hold a lot of what to look for when buying a home.
- Roof – Approximate the age and condition. When will it need to be replaced? No noticeable damage?
- Driveway – Is it safe and smooth? Is it easy to enter and exit with traffic?
- Foundation – Are there large visible cracks or gaps?
- Deck or Patio – Is it in good shape? On a wood deck, do the boards need just to be sealed or more extensive repairs?
- Garage – Is it large enough? Is it in good condition? Garage door openers?
#5 – Last but not least… how’s the home feel?
I put this last because it’s not very objective, but you should feel good about the home. I have had clients that just KNOW the moment they walk in. You want to be able to picture yourself in that home. If you can’t, let me keep working for you. We will find a house you will love to call home!
After we take these into consideration during our showings together, we will be in a great place to narrow down our choices. As we put in an offer, get it accepted, and move towards a completed sale, we will always make sure to get a great home inspection. Home inspections allow an expert and in-depth look into your future home. Great home inspectors are a true blessing and offer you peace of mind when buying a home.
Happy house hunting!
Kyle Geenen | (616) 403-0909