House hunting can be overwhelming, especially if you're beginning the search for your first home. You may find yourself getting caught up in the process, and important details might pass you by. While the number of rooms, condition of the kitchen, and the size of the yard are important, there are other things to consider before you make an offer on a home. Here's what to look for to get your search off to the right start.
Don't Forget These 10 Things!
Location, location, location!
What are the three most important things to look for when buying a home? Location, location, and location! A home might not be perfect, but loving your neighborhood and your neighbors can make all the difference when it comes to living with imperfection. And let’s face it—you can change almost anything about your house, but you can’t change its location or the people living nearby.
When you go house hunting, make sure to consider the home’s proximity to your work, the appeal of the neighborhood, where in the neighborhood the home is situated, its ease of access, the noise from neighbors, levels of nearby traffic, and its access to things like parks, shopping, schools, and public transportation.
While it’s important for your house to meet your expectations, it’s equally important that the neighborhood meets them, too. Take a drive around the developments you’re considering—on both weekdays and weekends, daytime and evening. Are the homes in good repair? Are yards kept clean and tidy? Is the neighborhood safe enough for people to walk, run, or bike? Are there kids playing outside? What’s the noise level like? The traffic?
Beyond location, look at where the home is situated. Do neighbors’ windows look directly into the home? Is the yard suitable for kids, pets, gardening, or other uses? Is there safe access to the home? How much sunlight will the most important rooms get, and at what times of day?
These are all important questions to ask yourself when determining if it is the right property for you.
The curb appeal
You want a home that’s going to reflect your lifestyle. Do you live a casual, laid-back life? Then you probably don’t want a formal home. A simple, contemporary might better suit you. Pay close attention to exterior features. Think about maintenance and upkeep, too. Do you like working in the yard? If not, you might not want a house with extensive landscaping. Is the roof in good condition? How about the siding?
Attention to detail will help you choose the home with the best curb appeal for you.
Size and floor plan
You may have a particular dream home in mind... but is your dream home practical? Do you need four bedrooms and four baths if you live alone? A spacious home might provide the extra room you’ve always wanted for a home office or theatre room, but you’ll pay higher heating and cooling bills and higher taxes. Additionally, it will take more furniture to fill it and more money to decorate it.
Think about how the new house will be used and whether it will fit your lifestyle now… and in the future.
Bedrooms and bathrooms
Decide how many bedrooms and bathrooms you will need, then only look at homes that meet that criteria. You don’t want to fall in love with an otherwise perfect home if it doesn’t provide the space needed for your household size or lifestyle. It’s smart to consider counting an extra bedroom in that number so you have extra space for a guest room or home office.
If you think you might add on to the home later, make sure you consult an architect who can advise you on space planning in Hillsborough County.
For many people, the kitchen is the heart of the home. Don’t settle for a home with a kitchen that doesn't work for you. Yes, you can remodel later, but at great expense, especially if you plan on knocking down walls or radically changing the floorplan. If it’s an easy fix like replacing cabinets or countertops, get a price quote before committing to the house so that you will know if it’s within your budget to take on that project.
Closets and storage
Older homes often have smaller closets or lack storage space. As you’re looking at a home, ask yourself where you will store your belongings. Tiny closets don’t have to be a deal breaker; there are ways to maximize storage without renovations. Newer homes tend to have lots of storage, but you might find that you sacrifice living space and end up with more closet space than you need.
Windows and lighting
While looking at a home, keep in mind your preferences regarding light and privacy. Do you want a lot of windows to provide bright, sunny rooms, or would you rather have greater privacy? Pay attention to the locations of electrical outlets and fixtures to make sure those meet your lighting needs as well.
Some finishing touches
Even a simple home can look spectacular with the right moldings, hardware, and a fireplace. If elements like these are important to you, look for them while house hunting—but try to keep them from being deal breakers if at all possible!
Ready to Start House Hunting?
You may not find everything you want in one house, but keep this list handy and you are more likely to find the home that best suits your needs and desires. The professionals at Inside Tampa Homes are ready and waiting to show you the house of your dreams! Contact them today at 813-413-4343. Happy House Hunting!