If you’re thinking about moving, it is important to know what to look for when home-buying. While the number of rooms, condition of the kitchen, and size of the yard are important, there are other things to consider before you make an offer.
- Curb Appeal
Your new home should reflect your lifestyle. It should be in good condition and inviting from the driveway to the front door. Look at the exterior features. Is the roof and siding in good condition? Is the landscaping attractive and are the sidewalks leading to the home safe?
- The Right Size
When home-buying you need to not only look for a house that fits for you, but also that fits for the majority of the population. Here’s what the majority of households are looking for or are able to adapt to: Look for a minimum of three bedrooms and a maximum of four. Two bedroom homes mostly cater to single people or couples that do not or will not have children (and aren’t concerned with selling their house). At the same time, homes with five bedrooms or more cater to those who have a healthy number of children, or plan on having them in the near future. That makes three- and four-bedroom homes the perfect size for the majority of the population, with three bedrooms being ideal. If you haven’t noticed, large suburban homes that are energy drainers are quickly going out of style.
The kitchen is the heart of your home, don’t settle for a home with a kitchen that just won’t work. You can always remodel, but it’s very costly. Can you just replace cabinet faces and countertops? Will an inexpensive makeover be sufficient? Don’t worry about appliances, as they can usually be easily replaced.
In terms of number of bathrooms, 1-1/2 or 2 will make the home more desirable than just one. If you’re looking at a house that could cheaply add another half or full bath, you might have a good find.
Square footage is important, but not quite as much as the number of bedrooms. Typically, you’ll want more than 1,000 (with room to expand) and less than 2,000 for a home to be comfortable and efficient for the majority of the home-buying population.
They say that the most important thing to think about when home-buying a is location. You can live with almost any imperfection in a home if you love the neighborhood and your neighbors. You can change almost everything else. But, once bought, you cannot change your home’s location. When you go house hunting, consider any potential home’s proximity to your work, the charm of the neighborhood, how the home is situated on the lot, ease of access, noise from neighbors, traffic, or pets, and access to parks, shopping, schools, and public transportation.
- Good structure
When it comes to home-buying, you want to avoid major structural issues that will cost you big money to fix or will diminish your leverage when it’s time to sell if you haven’t fixed them. Here are a few of the biggest culprits:
- Do not buy a house that has issues with the foundation. If you see large cracks in the foundation outside or on the basement walls, or the walls look like they are caving in some spots, kindly leave the house and look elsewhere.
- Termite or carpenter ant damage is common in some locales, and it may be hard to find an older home that hasn’t had a little damage at one point or another. The key here is to find a home that does not have major structural damage and has no signs of current issues. Some home inspectors will actually insure for a year or more that there are no current signs of infestation, and if they appear, they will cover the costs to terminate.
- Have you ever walked through a house that makes you feel claustrophobic or just didn’t feel right? Odds are that other people feel that way in the same homes. Don’t buy them. This may be remedied by knocking down a wall or two in some homes, but that can be an expensive project and you may be risking structural damage.
- Avoid buying a house that has signs of mold or water damage. They can be very expensive to fix and usually are signs of larger foundational or roof issues. Here again, a good home inspector will be able to test or look for both.
- Beware problems with the electrical and plumbing systems. These are a home’s lifeblood, and replacements are costly.
- If you buy a home with an ancient furnace, you may want to have it checked out beforehand. Any home with steam radiant heating may cost you a pretty penny to heat or replace.
- Good school district
Even if you never plan on having children, it is important to look within areas that have a reputation for having good schools. Do it for the kids. If not yours, for the kids of the people buying your house from you.The more desirable characteristics you’re able to find or add to through inexpensive sweat equity will improve your chances of not only selling your home, but selling it quickly and for a premium.
If you keep these specific elements of a home in mind, your home buying will be more successful, and you’ll likely end up with the home that suits you.