What to Look for when Buying a Home
While a house can be a great financial investment, make sure you can see yourself enjoying your life there.
Does the house look and feel like home?
Your impression of a house is important. As you walk up to the front door, opening it, ask yourself, “Could this really be home for me?” This is an important factor, one you should not ignore. Remember that you are looking for a place to live for quite some time.
Ignore the furnishings and the taste of the current owner. Go beyond that and look at the layout of the house, its shape and the position of the house in relation to the street. Are the ceilings too low for you? Are you too close to the street?
You might also simply feel uncomfortable when you walk in the door. Perhaps you can’t put your finger on why but you aren’t happy. Trust your instincts.
Does the house have the space you need?
Figure out how many bedrooms and bathrooms you really need. Depending on the size of your family, there are a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms necessary for comfortable living. For instance, do you really want to share a single bathroom with your spouse and three children?
Try to picture the routine of your family as it would fit into this house. If you have children, do they have a place to play? If you like to garden, is there a spot in the yard suitable for your needs?
Some families like to hang out in the kitchen while meals are being prepared. If this is your family tradition, is this home’s kitchen big enough for that?
Will your family change in the future? If you’re planning to have more children, consider their space requirements now. Take a look at the house with the future in mind. Will it continue to serve your needs, or will it become too small or too big? You’re better off not buying a house that will need major remodeling in the future.
Will your furniture fit?
In most cases you will want to move in furniture you already own. Will you be able to put your favorite couch in the living room and the dining set in the dining room? If you own a king-size mattress, will it crowd the room making movement nearly impossible?
If you’re moving from an apartment or home that is much smaller, your current furniture might not be right for your new home. You may need to buy new things.
Does the house have important features you need?
In addition to the usual requirements, your family has unique needs. If you have children, you probably want a fenced-in yard. If physical fitness is a priority, a pool or special workout room may be a necessity. Evaluate the house in terms of your daily routine.
Is it close enough to work?
When people fall in love with a home they often forget about the commute times to their work and other family activities. Find out how long the drive times will be and make sure you’re comfortable with them.