What to Consider when Looking for a Home
TL/DR - This is the fun part where you start to put the pieces together to make your dream a reality. You might have slightly different objectives than the next person, but your steps to find a home will be shockingly similar. Here are the top factors to consider as you look for your next home:
1. Home - Do you want an open layout? Number and conditions of bedrooms & bathrooms. Size of the lot. Condition of the roof, HVAC, when was the sewer line replaced, etc.
2. Neighborhood - How are the schools? Proximity to restaurants. Are there sidewalks and trails close by? Are you the most expensive or least expensive home in the neighborhood? Is there a busy street nearby?
3. Seller - Why are they selling?
As you start to look for homes, it's easy to get excited and forget what were your original priorities. Maybe you wanted a brand new master bathroom, or an open kitchen and dining area. This is why at Homsby, we advise that you start by writing everything down and labeling the important criteria you aim to accomplish in buying your next home. It doesn't matter if you start from the top (geography) and work down to the minute detail (# of bathrooms) or from the bottom up. The goal is to write everything that is important to you down so you can organize your thoughts. Once you have an idea of what you want, now you can go find it. This article looks at a few key things to consider as you organize your thoughts.
At Homsby we think it's really important to walk the neighborhood you seek. We're talking about taking at least a 30 minute walk (not drive) around the neighborhood. This will give you ample opportunity to:
(1) Look at the surrounding houses and whether they are well maintained
(2) How comfortable do you feel walking the streets?
(3) Is the vibe of the houses and community something that resonates with you?
(4) How far away is the closest restaurant and/or coffee shop?
(5) How far away is the gym?
(6) What does your commute look like from here?
(7) Are there walking trails or sidewalks?
(8) How are the schools?
The great thing about a home is that even if you don't like something, you can hire a contractor and get what you want. Maybe the bathroom is dated or the kitchen has a poor layout. If you work up a budget, these things can be fixed very easily. Nonetheless, there are a number of things to consider about a home before you purchase it:
(1) # of Bedrooms & Bathrooms (+ condition)
(2) Do you need an open layout?
(3) What is the size of the lot? Can you expand later?
(4) What is the condition of the roof? Will you need to replace it soon?
(5) What is the condition of the driveway? Does it need to be resealed or redone?
(6) How old is the HVAC? Will you need to replace it soon?
(7) How old is the water heater? Will you need to replace it soon?
(8) Is the sewer line cast iron or made of PVC?
(9) Is there irrigation?
(10) Is the backyard big enough?
(11) What is the condition of the appliances? Are they gas or electric?
It's always really important to ask the listing agent or seller why they are selling. Sometimes they won't tell you, but many times, they'll give you a tidbit of information that can be very helpful as you structure an offer. Maybe the seller needs just purchased a home and it's contingent on the sale of their current home. Maybe the neighborhood has changed. These pieces of information can tell you how motivated the seller is. If you think the seller is extremely motivated, you might have a good chance at haggling them at price and winning.
Buying a home is exciting because it's the start of a new journey. To avoid any unnecessary stresses, it's important to plan ahead and understand what your needs are, as well as understand the condition of the new home. This will ensure you're buy the home of your dreams and avoid any unforeseen expenses or costs.