House Hunting Tips to Get You Moving
Hunting for a home can be an exciting time for you and your family. It’s the largest investment most of us will ever make in our lives, but it’s more than that. It will become your shelter from life’s storms and a gathering place for friends and family for years to come. Settle on your budget, and begin your journey with our house hunting tips to get you moving.
Check Out the Neighborhood
This may be one of the most important things to look for while you house hunt. As we mentioned, your home is more than a roof over your head. Consider how your daily life will be affected by your home’s neighborhood. How long will it take you to get to work? To school? Think about your access to grocery stores, hospitals, and public transportation.
You will attend open houses during the day, but take time to drive around the neighborhood at night. This gives you a look at the area when most people are home. Take note of the parking, street lights, safety, and noise level. Research the area online.
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Start with the Kitchen
The Kitchen: often viewed as the most important part of a house, it is the heart and hub of a home. Here’s where we nourish our family and friends with food and conversation. Dreaming of a gourmet kitchen with custom-built cabinets and granite countertops? You may have to come back down to earth and consider the basics of what your family needs for now.
Before you daydream about its ultimate upgrades (we know you do), make sure it’s a functioning kitchen.
Are all the appliances in good, working order?
Is there good water pressure in the sink?
Countertops should be in good condition, and if granite, properly sealed
Are the floors in good condition?
Do the cabinets feel sturdy and the cabinet doors functional?
Keep in mind all the upgrades you can make on the cheap yourself. This includes replacing outdated flooring or lighting. Consider repainting kitchen walls and cabinets and installing new hardware on cabinets and drawers. New hardware can make a big impact with little expense.
Scope Out the Rooms
Do you have a growing family? Do you love to entertain friends? These are things to consider when you take a look at the bedrooms and living areas of your potential home. Every family is unique in their requirement for space, just be sure to factor in what your family can live with.
Make sure the walls and flooring appear sound and in good condition. Are there enough windows for your taste? Open the closet doors to see if the space available is acceptable to you and other family members. Smoke detectors should be installed outside each bedroom.
It’s no secret how much time we all spend in the bathroom. It is a necessary part of our daily routine. However, remember we are focusing on the basics at this point. Here are a few things you want to look for in the home’s bathroom(s):
The toilets are functional with good water pressure
Sink(s) functioning with good water pressure
Check for mold or mildew
Working and sufficient lighting
A working bathroom exhaust fan
Open cabinets and drawers to determine whether the space available is going to meet your needs or those of your family’s. Is the storage available to your liking?
The Home’s Major Systems
Being a homeowner will most certainly bring with it two new experiences: pride and problems. You will now be responsible for all the little things that are wrong under the roof and throughout your yard. Before you commit to buying, have all the home’s major systems inspected by a professional home inspector. Consider well-established home inspection companies like BPG Inspections, who’s ASHI-certified inspectors undergo thorough background checks.
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Make sure the home has good water pressure. Low pressure may be an indication of a larger, more costly issue down the road. Check pipes for rust or leaks. Confirm that the drains around the home drain properly and do not back up.
Have there been any upgrades to the electrical? Do the electrical outlets throughout the house have 2-prong outlets? This means there is probably no ground wire, a safety feature in more modern homes. Having no ground wire is common in older homes, therefore something to consider – whether or not the electrical needs of an older home will be sufficient for your modern-day family’s requirements.
Heating & cooling systems
Have the home’s heating and cooling systems been properly maintained over the years? These systems require regular maintenance and replacement filters. Vents throughout the home should emit warm or cool air without obstruction.
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Lot size has killed many a real estate deal. There is either too much to handle, or not enough for your kids or dogs, or both. Take into account what you want from your lot, and how much time or money you are willing to invest. Many of us cherish a weekend in the garden or tinkering with an automobile in your driveway. Others do not want the burden and may opt for a smaller yard, or none at all.
Once you begin your hunt for the perfect place, we hope these house hunting tips will help. Keep in mind it may be tough to find a house that will satisfy not only your “wants”, but those of your family’s as well. Start with the basics we’ve outlined here. Improvements can always be done later as time or budgets allow.
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Some say the “heart and hub” of the home is your kitchen. We say it’s simply you and your family.