When buying a home these are the things you should consider before putting in an offer:
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
You’ve probably heard this before but it is the most important thing because this cannot be changed. Look at proximity to your work, noise from neighbors and nearby traffic, and access to shopping, schools, and transportation.
Look at how the house sits on the property and the exposure to the sun. Check the grading of the property and make sure it is not sloped towards the house which will cause drainage issues.
Look around at the homes in the area. You don’t want the largest home in the area, nor do you want the smallest. Also, check out your neighbors and make sure they are not storing old cars on the front lawn. Most important, ride around the area at night. This will give you an indication of the safety of the area.
This not only refers to the landscaping of the home when you pull up but also refers to the style of the home. Do you want a Contemporary look, Victorian, or Tudor style home? Is the home brick, or vinyl siding, or shingled? And look at the roof and make sure the shingles are not curling at the edges, which indicates the roof is at the end of its lifespan.
SIZE AND LAYOUT
Is the home big enough or even too big for you? You may want a bigger home for room to grow but if it’s too big then your utilities and maintenance will cost you more than you think, as well as the cost of furnishing a larger home. Also, the layout and flow of the floor plan of the home is important and has to work for you.
BEDROOMS AND BATHROOMS
The home needs to have an adequate number of each of these for comfortable living. Do you need an extra room for a home office or a guest bedroom for visitors? If not, perhaps a room can be added later if there is room for it.
The kitchen is probably the most important room in the home, as well as the most expensive room. The kitchen needs to be workable for you in its current configuration unless you plan on gutting the room and starting over. Cabinets and countertops should be the color and style that you like and the appliances should be everything you need. Upgrading and/or reconfiguring a kitchen can be extremely costly.
CLOSETS AND STORAGE
An adequate amount of closets is necessary to store all of your stuff, especially seasonal items and clothing. If closet space is limited then make sure there are other areas to store items. A basement is a nice area to store items but many homes near water do not have basements. An attic is also good but how you get to it and the size of the opening will determine its usability.
Many people see windows in a room and think only of the amount of light they allow in. But bad windows can cost you a lot of money in the long run. If they are old they will most likely be drafty and allow a lot of heat into the room. This will increase your heating and air conditioning bills and direct sunlight will fade furniture and floors.
Trim work can make a plain home look spectacular. Crown moldings add elegance to a room as do larger base moldings and window and door trim. These items can be added later but if you can get a home with these already installed then you’ll save yourself some money and time.