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Things to Look for When Purchasing a Home

house for salePurchasing a home is one of the most important and exciting decisions one makes in a lifetime. The task can seem like a monumental task but be careful not to neglect important processes and take the time to ensure the house you find suits your needs.  The best thing to do while searching is to be highly vigilant and take thorough notes.  Here are some helpful tips on things to look for when looking for a new home:

  1. Location: It’s like the saying goes, “location, location, location.”  And nothing rings truer than when purchasing a home.  When considering location, take your first impression into account.  You want your first reaction, which is generally the right reaction, to be a positive one when entering your possible new neighborhood.  Consider nearby transportation roads (freeways etc), crime, traffic hours/locations, schools, stores, and any other facilities you may need.    Often times, simply being close to one’s work could be a deciding factor.  Take the time to do research.
  2. Curb Appeal: As you pull up to the house, be careful not to let the look of the front yard sway your judgment.  Simple things can be done to the yard in order to suit your own style.  Imagine the house with your own unique design.  However, you may want to skip this one and move on to the next if the color and/or design of the house are not your style.  Another thing to pay attention to is driveway condition and garage space.  With time and budget in mind, you want to consider if you can afford to make repairs, or if you need covered parking etc. These are concerns that in the long run, may end up taking more money and time than is worth.
  3. Size and Floor Plan: Only you know what size would be adequate for both your comfort and your budget.  Make sure you are well aware of your comfort zone before purchasing a home.  Also think about any future plans.  If you are thinking of starting a family or know that a family member such as a parent or grandparent might be entering into the picture in the near future, then you might want to consider them when thinking of your size needs.  There is nothing worse than having to move yet again.
  4. Backyard: Often the backyard is forgotten since it’s usually the last feature of the home that people see, but make sure to take a full tour of the exterior before making a final decision.  View the backyard as an extension of the house and remember there are many backyard tips for creating the perfect outdoor living space that fits your needs best.  How a backyard is cared for often times reflects how the home was cared for.  Also by evaluating the backyard, this will help you anticipate any future costs that may incur upon owning the home.
  5. Kitchen: The kitchen can certainly be the deal breaker for the house.  No matter what your size or appliance needs may be, the kitchen should be thoroughly examined for its pros and cons.  First, make a list of what matters to you—size, upgrades, storage, etc.—and bring that list with you in order to take detailed notes.  Later when you are thinking back about whether the counters were granite or tile, or whether there was or was not a dishwasher, you will be happy that you have your notes as a reminder.
  6. Closets and Storage:  You can never have a big enough closet or enough storage space in a house.  Even when you think there is more than enough, you will eventually wish for more.  With that said, do not neglect how much storage space there is in the house.  Is there storage in the garage for all the Christmas decorations?  Is there a shed outside for the lawn mower and yard tools?  Is there a laundry room with extra room for storage for cleaners and detergents?  Is there a pantry in the kitchen for dry and canned goods?  Is there closet for my guest to hang their coats?  And finally, is there enough space for all my clothes?  You will be very happy later if you are able to answer yes to some or all of these questions!
  7. Amenities and Simplicities:  Of course in hot climates, air-conditioning is an important amenity that must not be passed up.  But, do not forget about other simple amenities that may go unnoticed.  For instance, does the garage have an electric door opener?  Is there cable in each room?  Remember to make note of everything you see; small details can get overlooked, and you don’t want to make a big purchase without knowing everything that you need is included.
  8. Structure:  If you do make a bid, the house will get the necessary inspections before everything finalizes; however, you may be wasting valuable time and money by waiting.  Be sure to do a thorough inspection of your own.  If you see large cracks then the chances are there are foundation issues that will be needing attention.  Also, investigate to see if the roof looks old or new.  If it looks old then you may find yourself needing a whole new roof in the near future.  Plumbing, paint, electrical wiring, and floors are some of the few things to consider when evaluating a home.

In the end, the most important thing to think about is whether you will be comfortable living in the house.  It’s not just a house, it’s your home.  Have fun and happy hunting!
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