Your home is probably the biggest and most important purchase you will ever make in your life. There is no shortage of guides and lists that will tell you all the things you need to think about when you’re looking for a house, like location, or size.
But what about other aspects and details that can still make a major impact on the home, but that often get overlooked? Here are some things to consider when searching for a new home.
- Houses can be improved
Young couples often think they’ll be able to find their dream home right off the bat, and that it’ll be turn-key. Unfortunately, that’s likely to remain a dream, so instead of being hung-up on your ideal vision, consider learning to spot potential in a home. Just like you’d look at a child and imagine what they’ll be when they grow up, get a little creative, and try to envision the same house, but 5 years down the line, or 10 years down the line.
What would you change about it? Would it require major renovations? Would it be cost-prohibitive to turn a “Cinderella” home into your dream home, or would it end up saving you money? Too many first-time buyers snub homes that aren’t up to par because of lack of experience and an inability to see past the first impression. Think not about what the house currently is, but about what it might be.
- Search for unique character
And speaking of potential, let’s talk about character. New homes are great, because they’re shiny and clean, and modern. But they often lack some quirkiness that you only typically get in older homes. If you’re looking to make this house a home, then you might want to look for the unique character in these buildings.
Does it have a beautiful archway? Is there a hidden door somewhere? An under-the-stairs nook a la Harry Potter? What about an old, creaky staircase? New and shiny is very desirable but think about what it going to make this house yours and what you’re going to love about it. Consider bumping “character” closer to the top of the list of requirements.
- Can you grow into it?
Most people buy a property with the intention of settling for at least a few years. That’s a long time to be stuck in the same life stage, and things are bound to change, somewhat. Is the home you’re looking at somewhere you can grow into?
Say you’re planning on expanding your family – is there enough room for your future kids? Or to bring an elderly parent to live with you? What about your dream of owning an at-home business, is that possible in this home? If you’re planning on growing old here, are you able to bring modifications to it that will make your twilight years more comfortable?
It may not be immediately obvious that these are aspects you should be looking out for, but if you’re planning on making this home work for you long-term, growing into it is a given.
- Think about what you’re willing to pay for
In addition to the four walls and a roof we all want for our dream house, there are also special features one typically looks for, and they’re different for each person. They have one thing in common – they’re all willing to pay extra for it.
For one person, it’s going to be quartz countertops in the kitchen. For others, it’s going to be vaulted ceilings, a pool, or a secret wine cellar. Generally, the special features that fetch the most dollars are hardwood floors, finished basements, and nice backyard space.
Recently, people have become very interested in smart homes. Especially since the pandemic has meant that so many people are working from home, houses with features like smart doorbells and smart speakers are heavily in demand, especially in tech-conscious states like California.
Whatever your special feature is, think about it beforehand, make it a priority, and set aside a portion of your budget for it. It’s unlikely that you’ll just happen upon the perfect property that’ll also have the special feature you want.
- Check on the neighbors
When you buy a house, you’re also “buying” your neighbors, with the good and the bad they bring to the table. Unfortunately, this is typically a mystery reserved for after you’ve moved in and you have a pleasant – or unpleasant – surprise.
When you’re searching for your dream home, consider looking at the neighborhood not just in terms of home value and general location, but also in terms of people. Life is just easier when you like the people next door.
So, don’t be afraid to go knock on some doors. Introduce yourself and get chatting – it’s an excellent way to learn some things about the neighborhood, about the house and the owners, and you also get to see what kind of people your potential neighbors are. Would you be friends? Enemies? Can you peacefully co-exist? It’s more important than you think.
- You’ll change your mind
A lot of people talk about picking out their home based on a feeling that you get immediately that it’s “the one”. That may work in dating, but when it comes to houses, that feeling is not to be trusted completely, and here’s why: you’re going to change your mind.
That’s normal. Maybe you see a different house that would be even better, or you search for a new home, or maybe you’re just unsure whether it’s the perfect home for you. You don’t have to commit to an opinion, whether that’s positive or negative.
Sometimes, a second viewing can make that house you hated seem great, or it may reveal the underwhelming reality of a home you thought was incredible. No matter where your feelings lie, remember that you’re allowed to change your mind, and that you will. You’re not tied to a property until you’ve signed the papers and the check clears, so don’t be too set in your opinions.
Most house hunters are probably aware of the basics to keep their eye on, whether it’s location, size, or budget. But there are other things to keep in mind when looking for a home. Since this is a major, long-term purchase, you’ll also want to consider things like original features, improvement and upgrading potential, and even your neighbors.
Perhaps the most important thing to be aware of is the fact that nothing is set in stone, and that your mind will change. The house hunting process can be a rollercoaster, so allow yourself some freedom of decision.
This article was written for my blog and contributed with kindness by Emily Miller, at Broad Band Search. They told me that they are dedicated to helping others find the best internet provider for their needs, whether you are moving into a new home, or simply looking for a change. “We are so much more than that. We want to hold companies accountable for their customer service. We, like so many other Americans, are tired of customer service representatives that we can’t understand and tired of waiting around all day for a technician that never shows up when they are supposed to. We all have lives, right?” If you want to find out more about their comapny and servies, go to BroadBandSearch.net or reach out to Emily directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.