Buying your first home can be a very exciting and stressful time in your life. By having a checklist and knowing what to look for in a home, you will be better prepared when starting the home buying process.
Number of Rooms
Depending on the size of your family, you will want to look at the number of rooms in a home. If you are a newly married couple that isn’t looking to have kids right away, a home with just 2 bedrooms may be a great fit. If you are planning to have kids a few years down the road, you may want to consider a home with more than two bedrooms. While your plans don’t have to be set in stone, it is good to have a general idea so that you are not in a situation where you’d have to move out of your home after only being there a year or two.
One of the most expensive parts of any home is the appliances. It is important to take into consideration the age, care, and condition of the kitchen appliances, as this will have direct impact on whether or not you will need to buy new ones. If they do not need to be replaced, they may need to be serviced sometime soon. Feel free to open the refrigerator, and don’t be afraid to ask any questions that you may have.
Just as important as the features of a home is its location. If you do have children, be sure to do research on all the schools in the area. You’ll also want to know how long it’ll take you to get to work, as well as nearby stores and other amenities. For safety purposes, you can also check and see how the neighborhood’s crime rate compares to your current one or others in the area. Your real estate agent should be able to provide you with this information. The goal is to feel just as comfortable with your neighborhood as you do with your house.
Check for Water Damage
If the house you’re looking at has had water problems in the past, you will be looking at several expensive fixes in the future. If the basement has only leaked once, it can happen again. In addition, this could have opened the door for mold to grow. You’ll also want to ask questions if the basement has been painted recently. Sellers will often times do this to hide water-damage stains. It is also important to check the bathroom and under the kitchen sink to look for stains that would indicate mold growth.
Checking Major Systems
While looking at homes, it is important to look at the heating/air conditioning unit, hot water heater, and other major systems. If these systems have not been cared for in a while, the repairs can end up being very costly. You may not need to look at these until you have decided on a specific house, but it is still something you’ll want to keep on your checklist.
When looking for your first home, make sure to do research and know exactly what you’re looking for. Buying a home is a very big decision and investment, so make sure it’s what you want.