First Steps

A Home Buying Checklist: 10 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Home

Why didn’t I think of that? It’s a pretty common question among new homeowners. Over the first few months of settling in their new place, they start noticing all the details that escaped their attention during the home-buying process.

While searching for a new home, you should consider exactly which features and amenities will be important to you during the years of home ownership ahead. Spell out everything you want in a residence, prioritize those factors, and let the following homebuying checklist be a guide to getting it right the first time.

Square footage

You’ve accumulated a lot of stuff, and unless minimalism is on the menu, you’ll need adequate space to house those treasures. Estimate how much more square footage you’ll need to utilize furniture and decor you both have and know you’ll need in the future.

Outdoor space

You might want to stretch out and play with the dog or the kids. However, if mowing grass and pulling weeds never seemed all that appealing in the first place, balconies and courtyards might do the trick.

Bedrooms

Plan on one bedroom for each member of the household. If necessary, include guest rooms that could spare friends and family from hotel rates and also double as a work space or playroom. Keep in mind that more bedrooms will increase a home’s value in most cases.

Bathrooms

What’s more frustrating than waiting in line for the bathroom in your own home? Multiple baths — an additional half-bath at the least — come highly recommended for multi-member households.

Storage

Yes, you do own all that stuff, and some of it will undoubtedly end up being stowed and not shown. Sheds, garages, attics, basements — decide whether you need them or can live without them.

Location

You either cherish peace and quiet or love chatting with the folks in the homes nearby. Unless you plan on buying up a few city blocks, it will be tough to get rid of the neighbors once you move in next to them. A great house in a location you dislike won’t feel that great for long.

Walkability

You can walk anywhere in due time, but how far from the middle of things are you willing to be? Trips on foot to corner grocers and coffee shops from rural locales will get you in tip-top shape, but eat up a lot more of your day.

Schools

If you’re a parent, educational institutions for children rank high on the list when searching for a place to settle. Research school zones before you begin your search to narrow down your list of possible locations.

Entertainment

Big-name musical acts and pro sports teams rarely barnstorm anymore. Living near a big city might be more preferable if you desire top-level entertainment at your fingertips.

Commute

A long ride to work will eat up plenty of hours a week that you could spend doing things you love — but if you have a flexible schedule and can work from home a few days a week, choosing a more idyllic spot farther from the city might be worth it. However, a good commute may be best for many people’s peace of mind. Consider what’s most important to you before making any concessions.

The Choice Is Yours

You can have most of what you want in a house or maybe even have it all. Weigh the pros and cons of the home’s layout and its surrounds before you sign on the dotted line. Want to learn more about what you should be looking for in a property? Click here. True love for your new digs means never having to say: “What if…?”

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