If you’re looking to buy a house, you probably know that a home is more than just four walls, a floor, and a ceiling. There are multiple other factors such as the exterior siding, indoor plumbing, or electricity that could make or break your decision to buy.
However, you might not be too sure exactly what you need to be on the lookout for when touring a house. Take a look through these top five considerations, so you’re prepared for your next showing.
You probably already have a good idea as to what areas you could potentially see yourself living in. It could be based on your job, the familiarity of your hometown, or proximity to a downtown neighborhood near the city. When buying a house, the location also involves taking a look at a few other factors that could impact your long-term goals.
For instance, starting a family might be in the near future for you. This means you will want to find out about the quality of the school districts in the area. Perhaps you want to be more involved in the community or are uncertain about the safety of the neighborhoods you are investigating.
Since a house is something you will live in for multiple years, you’ll want to think about how your lifestyle and long-term goals will be impacted by the location, aside from just your immediate needs or desires. Make a list of what your goals are for the next five to ten years. Then ask yourself how the location could impact these goals so you’ll know the right questions to ask.
Check the Exterior of the House
When you’re looking at potentially buying a house, don’t just think about how the interior looks. Do a thorough look around the exterior of the house as well. This includes any damage or deterioration that might require hiring a professional for roof repair. While this is not necessarily a deterring thing, it’s important to factor in the extra cost of the roof repair into your home loan.
If you aren’t certain of the exact things to look for on the exterior of the house, don’t worry. You will be able to do a home inspection if you decide to potentially purchase the house. That way, you will have a professional do a full overview of the house to find out what might be wrong with it in its current condition or if the previous homeowner needs to make any additional repairs before selling the house to you.
Heating and Cooling Systems
There are different types of heating and cooling systems that certain homes might have. You’ll want to make sure that you ask the current homeowner what type of systems are set up. Most of the time, it could vary based upon the age of the house.
Heating, for instance, could be through an electric or gas-powered furnace. If the house is older, it could potentially use a boiler or radiator. Cooling systems are a bit different.
Many older homes use air conditioning units that are either placed within the wall or are put in the window of an individual room. More modern homes have central air conditioning, which distributes the cool air evenly throughout the house.
If the house doesn’t have specifically what you are looking for, you’ll want to note those extra expenses into your budget for any renovations. Remember, these types of upgrades aren’t usually something the previous homeowners are willing to make before the sale of the house.
Look At Extra Space
Whether you are downsizing or upgrading, it’s important to have enough space for all of your belongings, for any hobbies you might have, or for your business needs. See if there is a garage or a detached garage. This could be used to store your vehicles or to act as your shop for your woodworking business.
Does the home offer a basement or attic for extra storage? Perhaps there is a shed or barn in the backyard on a large plot of land that could be for storing your kayaks or landscaping equipment.
Think Long Term
Of course, you’ll look through the standard interior rooms of the house such as the bedroom and bathroom. But what other non-negotiables do you have for the long-term?
Do you plan on having family gatherings at your home? Maybe a larger kitchen with an island is necessary. Do you work from home or own your own business? Having an extra room that could act as a home office might be essential. Do you intend on having children in the future or multiple guests coming to visit? A spare bedroom for visitors or a future nursery might be exactly what you need.
Whether it’s your first time or your fifth time buying, there is a lot on your plate when looking for a new house. If you start getting overwhelmed, take a breath and make a list that you can bring with you to every one of your showings.
That way, you can make sure you aren’t skipping any essentials during each of your visits. And lastly, don’t forget to have fun during the process.