The great house hunt begins!
We’re so excited for you. It really is an exciting time but it can also be tedious, nerve wracking and full of confusion.
Don’t worry, you’ll find the right home with enough patience and persistence (and the right realtor!) To help you in your hunt, we put together a solid list of 10 things to keep in mind when looking for a new home.
You’d think we’d be tired of saying it by now, but we’re not! The three most important things to consider when buying a home are: location, location, location. Think about the safety and comfort of your neighborhood, the amenities nearby and your commute. If you have kids, consider the school district, the family friendliness of the neighborhood and parks nearby. Is the location noisy? How’s the traffic? Is it a neighborhood that will have a high resale value? You can change a lot of things about your house but you can’t change the location!
Be like Goldilocks in finding the house that’s just the right size. How many bedrooms do you actually need? What matters most to you in the square footage and layout? If your home is too big, you’ll be paying extra in utilities and upkeep. Too small and you’ll feel claustrophobic. Evaluate how much space you need and find the home that meets your requirements.
It’s not often at the top of the list, but the heating and cooling system is crucial to your home. Make sure you ask questions and run an inspection on the HVAC system. Replacing an HVAC can be expensive so make sure the system is in good shape and can keep the house at a comfortable temperature.
You need to know that the bathrooms are in good working order so test out all the plumbing. Also think of the layout of the bathrooms, as well as their location within the home. Bathrooms can be more utilitarian or they can be designed for a spa-like experience. What kind of bathroom experience do you want to have?
The bedroom is a place of respite at the end of long hard days; it’s a key component in how you will feel in your home. Will the bedrooms meet your needs? Think about the quality of sleep you might get. Consider also your proximity to other family members, whether or not you want to be near your children or if space is the idea. Consider also the privacy your bedroom affords, the windows and lighting, attached bathrooms and closet space.
Closets and storage
How much stuff do you need to stash? You’ll want to be very practical in reviewing the closets and storage space in a home. You can add storage space but at the sacrifice of living space.
The exterior and curb appeal
Every aspect of the house matters, inside and out. You’ll want to make sure the structure is sound and everything is in good shape. When it comes to the exterior pay special attention to the roof and siding, both are very expensive to replace. From the outside, does the house match your aesthetic? How about the landscaping? Curb appeal matters to you as the potential homeowner and it also factors into the resale value.
Windows and lighting
Lighting shapes so much about home design, from practicalities to the effects on our mood. Do you like to have a lot of natural light or is privacy a bigger concern? Also pay special attention to all the lighting fixtures in the home. You can always change lighting fixtures and put in new lighting systems but that can be yet another cost and a big project. In Miami, having hurricane windows in place can be a big decision maker in finding the right home – not to mention, it can lower your property taxes.
Meet the neighbors and know the neighborhood
Tied in with location, the neighborhood will factor into your new home. Walk the neighborhood and check it out during different times of day. Have a conversation with the neighbors and ask them what the day to day is like.
Balance emotions and logic
Lastly, you need to find a happy medium between your feelings about the home and the logistics of the space and location. You want to feel great in your home but you also need to know that you’re safe and you’re getting the best value for your home. Think about where you are now and factor in your 5 or 10-year plan. You can let yourself get excited but sprinkle in a healthy dash of rationality.
There are so many practical aspects to look for in a new home, as well as that hard to pinpoint feeling of belonging. It’s one part the nuts and bolts of the home, one part intuition and one part effective house hunting. It’s not a simple science! But we have a great track record and we genuinely love helping people find the home that they can make their own.
Good luck in the house hunt!
And make sure to call us if you have any questions or concerns about the process.