Friday March 13, 2020
Buying a home is a huge decision. It is one of the biggest investments you will ever make, and you want to get it right. There is a huge variety of home sizes, styles, floor plans and prices on the market making the decision of which home to buy even more difficult. Besides your budget, one good way to start narrowing down the confusion is to start with your top priority, then make a list below that of your must-have options and nice-to-have inclusions.
Do not decide on a top priority casually. This is a major first step to formulating what you really want and need in a home. Everyone has their own must-haves in a home, but location is a very prevalent one and a great place to start. It could be that you hate commuting with a passion and your ideal location would be as near to your work as possible. It could be that you cannot conceive in living anywhere unless it has a panoramic view of something more interesting than a parking lot. Perhaps you have small children and must be near good schools and or large, safe open spaces for them to explore.
Once you have this one figured out, the rest of your checklist should be easier to determine.
The list should begin with those things you only start considering after your top priorities have been met. These must-haves are the items that allow no flexibility. This might include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, outside space for dogs, huge garage, single-family residence or high ceilings. Stick to these items on your list with utmost commitment and your search will be much easier.
When you find a home that checks your major must-have boxes and you feel it pulling you inside, even before you get to the front door, this is a good sign that this might the one. Once inside, if you get a warm, comfortable feeling and start mapping out where your furniture will be placed, this is another good sign. If you leave the home planning a second visit, and then you call your friends and family and excitedly talk about the home you just found, then this is undoubtedly a serious contender for your new home, and you need to move quickly to the next step.
Check the Vital Signs
Unless you are a contractor, you can only perform a cursory check of the vitals such as the plumbing, wiring, roof and foundation. The owner of the home or your real estate agent can help you with this. There should be documentation if the roof was repaired or when it was replaced and the same for the wiring and plumbing. If you are going to be the first owner, ask the builder for the specifications pertaining to all the mechanical systems in the home.
The last thing to do is to actually test the systems. Turn on all the lights, flush the toilet and run water in all the sinks, tubs and showers. Even taste the tap water and see if the doorbell works. Just because you have fallen in love with the house, doesn’t mean everything is perfect. If, after the tests you find some questionable results, tell the owner or the realtor. These concerns should be addressed before you move in.
A home doesn’t have to be perfect; it just needs to be perfect for you. Try not to dwell on whether you will manage the stairs when you are aging in place, or if there will be enough bedrooms for your future family. The flipside of establishing priorities and having a checklist is that you may be so caught up in what you want or need, that you miss a great opportunity to envision what a home could be. Appreciate the home for the way it fits into your life today and adjust as you need to along the way.
Landmark 24 Homes has various-sized homes with layouts to fit every family or individual. Start your home search today in one of Landmark’s master-planned and family-friendly communities. You can even bring your list! We’re sure you’ll find a home that checks all of your boxes.