Price? Check. Number of rooms? Got it. Location? Think so. When you are shopping for a home, there are so many things to consider that it can be hard to keep track of them all.
As you determine how much home you can afford and which type of home you want, remember to consider what features you need in a home. It’s a good idea to remember some of the important aspects of day-to-day living that can often get pushed to the side when buying a home. Here are some important, but not always obvious, factors to consider to ensure you’re getting the house of your dreams.
Go Beyond the Basics
The old real estate adage of location, location, location is still a good one. The location of a home is certainly very important and can affect many other things like home price, size, school quality and crime rate. But there’s more than that to worry about. When it comes to location, be sure you are thinking about the proximity to work and what your commute will be like. Also, decide if being close to shopping or near your family or friends matters a lot to you. Also consider factors like privacy, weather and neighborhood/homeowner association requirements when it comes to location.
In the actual home, it’s a good idea to decide whether it is important to you that the home is new or if you are comfortable making a used property your own. From there, check that maintenance requirements are affordable.
Maybe having a multi-car garage is necessary for your family or you love to cook in a large kitchen or need storage space for all your sporting equipment and art supplies.
Natural light, walk-in closets, high ceilings, plentiful bathrooms, porches, a large backyard and presence of or room for a pool are also common features to consider.
Some of these features you ultimately need in a home can be especially easy to forget about based on the season you are home shopping. If it’s summer, you may forget how much you hate carrying grocery bags back and forth from the car in the cold. An attached garage may be a feature you really want but overlook because current conditions don’t demand it.
Prioritize Your Planning
Even if you have all the aspects on the table, it is not always possible to get everything you want or need in a house in your price range. The amount of home you can buy is based on factors like your income, down payment and your credit scores. You can check two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com.
It’s a good idea to create a list of everything that matters to you about a home. Next to every feature you are considering, mark if it is a necessity, bonus that would be nice to have, or if it doesn’t matter much. Consider your personal preferences along with your family or future plans (like additional children, elderly parents moving in, children moving out on their own, etc.) so you invest in a property that will last. By refining your home search criteria, you will be able to compare homes in an educated way.
If you have found a property in your price range that satisfies all those features that are important to you, be sure to check these remaining factors before making an offer on a home. When you know what to look for, you will be in a much better place to complete a thorough home search. Take these features, create a checklist with priorities laid out and get ready to shop wisely.
More on Mortgages and Homebuying:
- Why You Should Check Your Credit Before Buying a Home
- How to Get a Loan Fully Approved
- How to Search for Your Next Home