The hunt for a new house usually begins with a dream. A dream that needs to be distilled into reality through hard work, careful consideration, and financial planning.
That leads to being pre-approved* for a home loan before even stepping into a potential new home.
When it’s time to begin house hunting, there are many things to consider which vary from buyer to buyer. But the things to look for are still as universal and vital as four solid walls and a roof.
Let’s look at eight details to consider when you start house hunting.
Location isn’t a real estate mantra for nothing.
Your home’s location determines which schools your kids will attend, where you will do most of your grocery shopping, how much in taxes you will pay, the quality of public safety.
Another thing to consider about the home’s location is your commute time. If you work from home, location determines who your internet broadcast provider will be.
Some important questions when considering location include how good is the area with snow removal? Where are the hospitals and the doctors?
Location determines if you’ll deal with noise from the highway or airport, or from the fire station only a few blocks away. How close do you want to be to family members? How far away?
Fortunately, there are many sources for home buyers to use to decide where they want to put down roots and build wealth.
When it comes down to it, a home is where you put your stuff.
The answer to how much space a person needs depends on the individual. Does your stuff include 100 pairs of shoes and a wardrobe that requires its own room? Do you love Halloween and have a few (okay, a few dozen) boxes of decorations that need to be stowed away?
Definitely also consider your future needs.
Imagine the person you’re going to become and ask yourself this: Does that person need a basement? Will a large garage with a ceiling storage system attached be enough? How many shelves will be needed and where will they go?
More than a quarter of Americans now work from home and that number is bound to grow.
For those whose commute is measured in feet and not miles, a home with a dedicated office should be on their wishlist.
A finished basement that is well-heated can be a life-saver for those who have to put in their daily grind in their own homes.
Renovations and Upgrades
A great majority of home buyers are buying used.
This includes used refrigerators, used washers and dryers, used dishwashers and ranges and, unfortunately, they do not last forever. Keep an eye on how old these appliances are and estimate when they will need to be replaced.
Or perhaps, you will get lucky in your house hunting and come across a place that comes with appliances. If not, consider the amount of space you need for everything you require. Some buyers can get by with small kitchens and others might want their own restaurant at home.
Additionally, house hardware like windows and door frames need to be maintained until they need to be replaced. Replacing a home’s windows not only looks great, but also is essential for those with energy efficiency on their minds.
Necessary renovations will only add to the price you end up spending on the new home. Consider what is needed while you’re still hunting and certainly before you agree on anything.
Since most homes are viewed during daylight hours, it takes a bit of imagination to see what a potential new home will look when it’s lit up on both the inside and the outside.
Lighting and built-in light fixtures are often swapped out to match the new owner’s style and aesthetics. Outdoor lighting done right makes the home shine like an actor on the stage — and gives owners a sense of security.
While these things are easily changeable, it’s almost always easier to find something that already matches your existing needs. Plus, you can’t change a home’s location. If you’re a plant lover and need a good amount of direct and indirect lighting, think of how you can use the space in the home you’re considering.
The home’s listing checks off many of the boxes a buyer is looking for, but it has one big problem: The property offers little in terms of privacy. Maybe the property sits near the bottom of a hill and everyone up the street can see into the yard. Maybe it’s a corner lot on a fairly busy intersection with a bus stop. Regardless, privacy — or the lack thereof — is essential for well-being.
Heating and cooling
They simply don’t make them like they used to.
Even though replacing a new furnace and a central air conditioning can hit five-figures, homeowners who plan on spending decades in their new home will most likely have to replace these units eventually.
It’s also a matter of comfort and efficiency.
Older AC units do not blow as cold or as hard as newer units and the components in older furnaces wear out and need replaced. If there are any doubts, a heating and cooling professional will be able to estimate when these units will have to be replaced.
The kind of heating and cooling system a house has should also be considered. Is it a newer house with a heat pump? An older house with a boiler and radiators, or standard forced air? A home with a boiler and radiator system may be better for people who suffer from allergies, for example. But boilers — just like water heaters — rust and must be replaced through a home’s lifetime.
Heating and cooling, as well as other items that are expensive to replace, are worth considering while hunting for your new house.
Curb appeal not only adds value** to a home, but also a sense of well-being and accomplishment that should come with buying a new home.
A well-manicured yard will stand out from a property that was owned by someone who was unable or unwilling to put in the effort.
Of course, it goes beyond aesthetics.
A cracked and heaving front walkway not only looks shabby, but can be a liability if someone trips and falls. And an older, worn gutter system will eventually damage the home’s foundation.
That’s why you should consider curb appeal as a necessity, or at least its functionality while house hunting. Though you shouldn’t judge a home by its appearance, as they say, visual problems on the outside could be an indicator of problems on the inside.
Get Started with Homefinity
List-making and following online guides will turn the hunt for a new house into finding your dream home.
The specialists at Homefinity can help you get one step closer to turning that dream into a reality.
Reach out to schedule an appointment with a Homefinity representative to talk mortgage rates and pre-approval today.
*Pre-approval is based on a preliminary review of credit information provided to Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, which has not been reviewed by underwriting. If you have submitted verifying documentation, you have done so voluntarily. Final loan approval is subject to a full underwriting review of support documentation including, but not limited to, applicants’ creditworthiness, assets, income information, and a satisfactory appraisal.** The information contained herein is distributed for educational purposes only. Fairway does not guarantee a mortgage loan will result in equity gains.