When you are first starting your home search, you may not know what exactly you should be looking for. Well, I am here to help you with that. Here is a nice simple list of the 10 things you should think of before you buy.
The first three are really all-inclusive of each other. Location, location, location. What type of neighborhood do you want to be in? Or at the very least what part of the city? Here in Portland we tend to break it down into quadrants and then to more specific neighborhoods. If you know you want to live in a specific neighborhood, speak up about it. the more specific you are the better.
Beyond the neighborhood you are looking at, look at the lot the home is sitting on. Is the home on a hill? You’ll need to consider drainage issues, Is there a large yard that will require maintenance? Are your neighbors looking directly onto your house? Will you need to walk up or down stairs everyday? You want your house to be a comfortable place to come home to.
Lastly in regards to location, make sure it has some curb appeal! Your home should match your lifestyle, if you are young and modern, a Victorian probably isn’t for you. Consider the types of homes available in your desired neighborhood and pick one that suits your personality. You probably wont even have to think about it, one type usually jumps out at people as being perfect. For an example of some typical homes you can look at my pinterest page here.
The next thing you should consider about your new home is the style of floor plan you want. Do you like homes that have defined rooms with separate doors? Or more of an open flowing floor plan? Do you want separate levels for entertaining and living? Or do you prefer to have it all in one place? Keep in mind that once you have chosen the style of home you want the floor plans available will be limited. You will have a hard time finding a cute bungalow without an open floor plan, and a Victorian without at least 3 floors rarely exists.
Now onto the logistical things. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? and how much space do you want? Most people stay in their homes for 5-7 years so you want to be able to grow into your home, but you don’t want something so big you can’t manage it. If it’s just you and your significant other do you really need a 5 bedroom 3 bath home? Make sure once you have a decision, you only look at homes that meet this criteria. You don’t want to fall in love with a home that is too big or too small.
Next we consider closets and storage. You want to make sure that your home has plenty of room to put all of your current belongings as well as room for all of the new stuff. Older homes tend to have less storage areas and closets while newer homes have storage in abundance around every corner.
The last logistical thing to consider is windows and lighting. Do you want a home with lots of windows and natural light? Or do you prefer a home with some rooms that are more private? Look for the outlets in the room, is there one on every wall? You need at least enough to plug-in your lights and electronics, you can add more later but they are nice to have. Are there built-in lights in the room? are they bright enough to light the room? You may need to have additional lamps in some rooms to help brighten them up.
Now to the fun stuff, the kitchen! For many people the kitchen can make or break the decision to buy a house. You can’t always go with your first impression though, would new cabinet faces be sufficient? or simply different hardware? New appliances are nice but the appliances are easily replaceable so don’t let them cloud your judgement. You want to make sure the kitchen flows right and will provide enough counter space for you. Lastly, make sure it feels like a place you will be comfortable eating, is it clean??
Everyone has something that they are specifically looking for, a big yard, a fenced yard, a pool, a hot tub. Make sure you know what the most important thing to you is, and then look for it!
The last small thing to consider is all of the finishes. Do you like the paint colors? the Molding? the fireplace? the flooring? the light fixtures? It’s an easy fix to change one or two of them, but you don’t want to have to change everything. You also want to be careful that all of these things being perfect doesn’t make you overlook something big.
Keep this small list in mind while you are searching for your dream home and it ill make the whole process much easier. If you want any more specifics of have questions about anything, let me know!