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Buying a house can be daunting, especially when you don’t know what to look for when house hunting. That’s why we’ve whipped up a handy checklist of what to look for when looking for a home, just for you.
Location, location, location
Are your location and budget aligned? If so, does the location meet your needs?
Here are a few things to ask when location scouting:
- How close is it to your children’s school(s)?
- Is your commute looking shorter or longer?
- What’s there to do on a Friday night?
- How do home values in this area hold up?
- What’s the neighborhood like? Does it change street to street?
Jumping at the first home you see is a good way to overlook all of these concerns. That’s why we recommend taking the time to carefully select a location that works with your budget, along with a real estate agent who is familiar with your ideal area.
Work from home potential
More people than ever are ditching the commute as professionals and discovering the flexibility afforded by remote work. This is a key thing to look for when house hunting.
If this sounds like you, it’s wise to conduct your home search with an eye for “office” space:
- More than one income-earner? Is there room for two home offices or at least a space that two can share?
- Is there a finished basement with room for me to get my work done?
- How is the natural light in the space I’d be putting my home office?
- Is the home in an area that will get reliable cell phone service?
The last thing you want is to work at half-capacity because you didn’t think through your home office set-up.
The pandemic reinforced the importance of home in our daily lives. There’s an ever-increasing emphasis on making home a place to spend quality time.
If you’re scouting for a single-family home, we suggest including properties that offer ample outdoor space. Could your family use a fire pit or dedicated grilling area? What about a gazebo or a back deck? What about a luscious backyard or an impressive front porch?
Depending on your budget, you can add these features after you buy, so it’s smart to keep an eye out for a home’s outdoor potential, too.
BONUS TIP: If you’re buying a condo, try looking for units with a private deck. Common areas are also a big draw, and some associations have top-end amenities for you to enjoy when the weather is nice.
Return on investment
Does the property and area you’re moving to make sense financially, both now and in the long run? It’s an important question when considering what to look for when house hunting.
That’s a complicated question, and there are others worth considering what to look for when house hunting:
- Is the area you’re moving to likely to retain its value? For example, see if any upcoming development projects could increase or decrease the value of your home over time.
- Does the property have income-generating potential? A finished basement or in-law suite can go a long way in reducing your expenses.
- Have area home values risen? Is your future neighborhood “up-and-coming?” Talk with your agent about locking in opportunities in revitalized areas.
Your home is more than a place to live; it’s also one of the most valuable assets you’ll ever acquire. Caring for your home as an investment will pay off for years to come.
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We help buyers achieve their dreams with individualized mortgages that put them in control. Are you looking for more information to get you ready for your house hunt? Reach out to one of our mortgage professionals today and get started on the journey to homeownership!