Thursday, March 05, 2009

Create a House Hunt Checklist

The HomeSpace is one of the first things people notice when touring a home. Are there enough bedrooms to accommodate the household? How spacious are storage closets? Square footage and the practicality of the floor plan are elements that demand major consideration. Is there a garage or a basement? These are some standards you should have set in your head before beginning your home search, but it doesn't hurt to add these elements to the checklist.

After you've evaluated the space, take time to note the condition of the home. Some suggest breaking it down further into interior and exterior conditions. Look specifically for dampness and odors in the basement, age and condition of the roof as well as the functionality of gutters and downspouts. Finally, don't forget to make note of extra perks such as a fireplace, great landscaping, fences, a patio/deck, screens and storm windows as well as overall energy efficiency.

The Neighborhood
One of the most common things homebuyers look for in a neighborhood is safety. Individuals want to feel secure in their new surroundings. Other high-ranking aspects include: traffic, noise level, parking and zoning restrictions. How close are you to police and fire stations, the hospital or schools? Does the neighborhood provide snow removal or trash services? Don't forget to investigate these issues by creating a physical or mental checklist.

Schools
For those who have children, what school district you choose is an important consideration. Feel free to further research the reputation of the schools, quality of teachers and achievement test scores for students attending these schools. Other considerations include class sizes, busing distance and the age and condition of the buildings that your children could potentially attend. Taking the time to meet with faculty, tour the school and talk with parents of pupils who attend the school will help you make an informed decision.

Convenience
Location is becoming a greater concern for many homebuyers due to increased gas prices. When looking at a home, take the time to figure out how far you would be from the grocery store, schools, child care, shopping, highways, etc. Is there public transportation in your area? How far are you willing to commute each day? These are some things you want to ask yourself as you evaluate the location of a home.

Taking the time to look at all aspects of a home—from the actual structure to the neighborhood, schools and location will help you make a more accurate and informed decision when choosing a home. Make your own checklist or go the Real Living Buyer Checklist for a pre-made list that reflects the aspects previously discussed. For additional questions on your home search, contact me today.

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