Shopping for a new home can be a stressful time in any adult’s life. You are selecting your home, the place where you will spend the majority of your time over the next several years, and maybe even decades (scared yet?). Still, the fact is that home buying is also a very exciting time. You’re embarking on the rewarding journey of home-ownership, and building a cozy nest for you and your family. So, what are the first things you should consider when shopping for your home? Below, we’ll take a look at some of the key attributes you should consider when shopping for a new home.
Location: Likely, the most important component in your home-buying decision is location. Location is responsible for many of the most important things in our day to day lives, so be sure to consider:
- Neighborhood: When viewing homes, ask yourself, is this a neighborhood you like and feel at home in? If you are a single bachelor, you may not want to be in a neighborhood that consists mostly of large families (but, maybe you prefer the peace and quiet- it all depends on your preference).
- School District: If you have children, the school district in which you live is a very major consideration. Take your time with this decision, and ask the locals. Also, check out the national high school rankings here: http://www.psk12.com/rating/index.php
- Proximity to Work: If you don’t enjoy sitting in traffic for an hour each way during your commute to/from work, then you’ll want to consider this in your decision. Moving closer to your job may save time, gas money, and make your mornings easier.
Space: Take a good, hard look at your plans for the future. Because you will be in your home for awhile, it’s important think about your potential need for more space in the future. If you are single, or a couple with a child or two but planning for more, then you may want to factor in room to grow. If you have children or pets, also consider the yard space. Will the area be ample enough for your current and future needs?
Condition: Maybe you are seeking a fixer-upper you can put some elbow grease into? Or, perhaps you want a home that’s modern with all of the features you want already built-in? Determining the condition of your dream home will narrow the pool, and help you focus on finding a home that’s right for you.
Floor Plan: Because the floor-plan can’t be changed without major renovations, it’s important to select one that you are happy with (or bear the cost of heavy construction later). If you prefer an open floor-plan, find it. If you want a separate and secluded dining room, find that too. You will be happy to have just what you want, rather than settling and regretting it later.
Yard: If you have pets or a family, this is likely to be an important aspect to consider. Also, because landscaping a yard or redoing what’s currently there can be a big expense, you should consider the state of the front and back yard (if applicable) before you make a decision. Will this yard require professional upkeep, or can you do it yourself? Is there a pool to maintain? Will it be expensive to landscape? You should answer these questions about your “ideal” home before you shop.
Armed with the right focus, you’re likely to find a home that you and your family can enjoy for years to come. What’s the most important thing for you when shopping for a home? Tell us below in the comments!