When it comes to searching for that new home, the choices can seem almost overwhelming if you don't take some time and get prepared. You can help narrow down the many possibilities by thinking about not only what you want, but placing those wants on a priority scale. Read on for some assistance with your home search and view this easy-to-use checklist for some considerations that you may have missed.
- While it may seem a bit premature, it's best to have a good, general idea of how long you plan to be in the home before you begin your search. For example, even if your family is young, you may need to place the quality of the local schools higher on your priority list if you plan to stay there long enough for it to matter to you.
- Does the home need to be move-in ready, or do you expect to make changes to it? You can pick up a bargain if you are willing to make some home improvements, but be sure you understand what you are getting into. You may prefer a home that meets more of your needs right off the bat.
- Do you want to be closer to work, shopping or medical facilities? Measure your drive time (which is not necessarily going to be the same as distance) and plot your target area on a map. If public transportation is needed, be sure you know where all the stations and stops are located in relation to your potential home.
- Do you have special security concerns? A gated neighborhood could offer you an enhanced feeling of peace.
- What style are you looking for? Take look at some common home styles to get a better idea of what the real estate agent is talking about when they offer to show you a "cape cod" or "Mediterranean".
- What type of parking do you need? Many people need a double (or even larger) garage, but some people plan to use public transportation and really don't care about garages or driveways. If you plan to entertain or have a big family, be sure that you have space to park them.
- Do you need a big yard and are you prepared to take care of it? If you have children or pets, a large yard is perfect, but be sure you understand how time-consuming and expensive it can be to maintain it. Hiring your lawn maintenance out can represent a considerable sum.
- If you need or want a basement, you should place it high on your list since it cannot be added later.
- While the number of bedrooms can be finite, consider the potential to add a bedroom and bathroom on if the lot allows it.
- Consider the floor plan. Do you hate stairs? Do you have children and prefer to have your master bedroom be separate?
Consider this list to be a starter, and speak to your real estate agent for some other considerations.