Making the decision that you are financially ready to buy a house is only the first step. Finding the right one is more of a journey. It’s one that will take you through a lot of front doors and require you to sort through room configurations, features, neighborhoods, financial aspects, and even your own emotions.
To make it a smoother trip, here are some of the questions you’ll want to keep in mind as you consider each property to determine if it has what you need and want to call it your home.
1. How does walking into the home make you feel?
Try viewing homes like you already own the place. Take note of your thoughts and feelings when you drive up and step inside. If it feels like home, you may have found a contender.
2. Can this home accommodate possibilities?
A home needs to be big enough not just for your current family members but also any new additions – from new additions to the family, guests, live-in help, or relatives in need of care.
3. Will your household’s life fit into this home?
Floor plans can make the difference between feeling crowded or lost in your home. If you entertain frequently or have young children, you may prefer an open-flow floor plan that allows everyone to be within eyesight. Having more rooms with doors and fewer levels may be better if you work from home or prefer more privacy.
4. Will your things fit?
When you view a home, literally take measure of the place. This means sizing up rooms, doorways, and staircases to make sure larger pieces, such as refrigerators, sofas and king-sized beds, can be moved in. Pay particular attention to cabinet, closet, and storage space, along with the size of the garage.
5. How neighborly are you?
When you look at properties, it’s easy to focus on the house and not its proximity to the homes around it. Having neighbors and knowing them is attractive to many families seeking to be members of a community. However, some people may prefer to know their neighbors rather than to see them whenever they look out their windows.
6. Where are you?
When you look at homes, you sometimes lose track of where you are in relation to where you’ll need to go. For instance, the schools, the train station, even the expressways may be 15–20 minutes away. That may be fine, but it’s important to consider what it will take in terms of time to get around on a daily and weekly basis.
7. How do you feel about doing repairs, maintenance, and renovation?
Many buyers like the idea of customizing their homes. Others just want to move in with no additional renovation expenses for some time. It’s good to know which type you are before you buy. Also, consider the age of the home and its appliances. Like a new car, a newly constructed home offers a honeymoon from repair expenses. The older a home is, the more frequently repairs are likely to be needed and the more vital maintenance becomes.
8. Is it a good investment?
It’s only natural to consider whether a property will be a good investment at its current price. However, unlike a stock, you literally have to live with this investment. So, in addition to the monetary aspect, also consider the returns you will realize in terms of quality of life, comfort, security, and enjoyment.
The more homes you view, the clearer your wants and needs will become, as well as how high they rank on your list of priorities. You may find yourself reacting emotionally to aspects you didn’t think were that important and realizing you’re indifferent to things you thought you really wanted.
That’s okay. It’s part of the shopping process. As your wants and needs become more defined, it will be much easier to spot the place you will want to call home when you find it.