Are you looking for a new place to call home? As house hunters, you want to be wise when it comes to finding a place to live. You don’t want to make a quick decision on a false first impression and end up with buyer’s remorse. To help you avoid this, we’ve compiled a list of 10 practical tips for house hunters. We hope these 10 items will help you carefully analyze and critique all potential properties so you can make an informed decision for your future.
#1. Consider The Location
As house hunters, the first thing you should consider is the location of the prospective home. While many aspects of a home can be renovated and improved, the location cannot. Consider what is most important to you. Do you need your home to be close to work, schools, public transportation, shopping, parks, and other attractions? Or are you looking for a property more remote and in the country? Take a moment to consider the neighbourhood. Do a drive around on a weekend and on a weekday to get an idea of the neighbourhood environment. Is there lots of traffic? Is it safe for walking, running, and biking? Are there kids playing outside? Is there lots of trash around? Make sure you get an idea of the neighbours as well. Are they noisy? Do they have pets?
How do you like the position of the home on the lot? Can the neighbours look into your home or yard? Assess whether the yard has enough room for a play space for the kids or any gardening projects you have in mind. Ask your real estate agent about the zoning laws and if there are any development plans for the area.
#2. Pay Attention To Smells
While you’re doing a viewing of a home, keep your nose at the ready. Sellers will use air fresheners and open windows to air out any unpleasant scents, but the smell can still linger. Is there a damp scent? This could indicate a mold problem or poor ventilation – something you want to avoid at all costs, especially in the humid West Coast climate.
#3. Observe The Floors
As you walk through the home, check out the floors. Do you notice any slants? If there are, this could indicate a major structural issue. Ask your real estate agent to inquire with the owners. Make sure you get a professional home inspection if you do decide to pursue the property.
#4. Take Note Of The Lighting
As house hunters, make sure you don’t overlook the presence, or absence, of natural lighting. Consider how important natural lighting is to you. Know that the lighting will be affected by the time of day and the season. Are you looking for big open sunny windows, or do you want more privacy? Look for the location of electrical outlets and fixtures. Will they serve all your needs?
#5. Study The Floor Plan
When you’re house hunting, you want to make sure that the house’s layout will adequately serve your needs. Carefully take note of the size, shape, and dimensions of the rooms. Will all your furniture fit comfortably in the space? Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms for your family? Is there enough space for you to have a home office or an extra guest room?
#6. Check Out The Parking
The parking situation is something that house hunters should not overlook. Does the home have private parking? Will everyone in your household be able to fit into the parking lot? Can your vehicle sit comfortably in the space? Will you need to pay for parking?
#7. Take Note Of The Laundry Facilities
Does the home have laundry facilities? If it does, take note if they are in an accessible and practical location. In the case that the property doesn’t have a laundry room, is there one nearby that you can use?
#8. What’s The Storage Space Situation?
House hunters need to be aware of how much storage a property offers. Older homes typically don’t have a lot of closet room or storage space. Without a doubt, you don’t want to live in a home that’s cluttered and therefore rendered unlivable because of a storage problem. As you view the home, consider where you can put all your belongings, including sports equipment, craft supplies, seasonal decorations, and out-of-season clothing. Check out this article for ideas for creative storage solutions.
#9. Inspect The Kitchen And Bathrooms
As you walk through the house, pay special attention to the kitchen and the bathrooms. Bathroom and kitchen renovations are the two most expensive renos for a home. Inspect both spaces carefully so you can avoid an expensive and unwanted repair after buying the property.
#10. House Hunters, Don’t Miss Something
Don’t underestimate the power of professional staging, décor, and the scent of fresh baked cookies. Understandably, these things will compliment the space and highlight the best features but they can also distract house hunters from possible costly problems. For more information, check out our post 5 Problems Home Sellers Try To Hide.
Concluding Thoughts For House Hunters
We hope these 10 tips for house hunters were helpful to you as you embark on your search for a new home. While a home inspection is always important, it doesn’t hurt for you to keep an eye (and nose) out for any potential red flags during your upcoming home-viewings.