Are you looking to buy in 2018? Here’s how you can get started!
Start with the research portion below and understand the areas and neighborhoods you are focused on for your house hunt. Then bring along the checklist we’ve detailed out within this article when you are looking at homes!
Start By Researching
General Questions & Research About The Neighborhood
- How long is the commute to work?
- What is the public lighting on the streets and sidewalks?
- How pet friendly is the neighborhood? (Cafes, restaurants, general)
- Where is the closest public transportation?
- How far is your go-to grocery store?
- Research the schools in the district
- How close is the hospital?
Comparison Research on Value
- Compare home values - how much are homes selling for in the neighborhood? How many homes are for sale? How long are they on the market for before selling?
- Are there any fees associated with living in the community? Insurance, club house, HOA, property tax, garbage removal.
CHECKLIST: YOUR HOUSE HUNT
For each home you view during your home tours, use this checklist to take notes and review what’s important to you.
Before you head out for your home tours:
- Wear comfortable clothing & bring a sweater
- Have a GPS and/or map handy
- Ask the listing agent or your realtor about any known inspection reports, damages or any “need to know” information about the properties on your list
- Only view homes that are within your budget and keep realistic expectations
- Have your phone or camera ready to take photos of the homes
- Age & condition
- Cost of replacement
- Age & condition
- Cost of replacement
- Are they dual pane?
- What is the brand?
- Are the faucets stain-free?
- Do the sinks or tubs have any mildew or mold?
- Try the water and see if it seems to work and is leak free
- How much cabinet and storage space is there?
- Is there enough counter space?
- Are there working fans in the bathroom?
- Flush the toilet and make sure it functions properly
- Review the same items as the bathroom for faucets, sinks, cabinets and counter space
- What brand are the appliances (if they come with the home)? Are they new?
- Where are the electrical outlets throughout the kitchen?
- Will your furniture fit (if the kitchen includes a dining area or bar)
- Does the garbage disposal work? Or does the home have one?
- Do you like the floors?
- Are the floors even?
- Are there smoke detectors in the bedrooms?
- Windows and natural light
- Are the rooms freshly painted or will that need to be done?
- Will your ideal furniture fit within the space?
- How large is the closet space?
- Any signs of damage on or under the stairs?
- What flooring is on the stairs?
- Are there railings? Is it safe for your family?
- Do they open and close properly?
- Check the locks
- Are the doors and locks in good condition?
- Are the doors weatherproof?
- Does the doorbell work?
- Household Systems
- Ask about the electrical, heating, air conditioning, security, plumbing, insulation, water, and sewage. When is the last time everything has been replaced? What is the condition?
- If you’re serious about a home, hire a home inspector to double check everything.
- Ask when the roof was last replaced and the age/condition
- Signs of roof issues are sagging roof line, discoloration or holes and leaking.
- Any cracks or damage throughout the home or outside on the side of the house
- Any cracks? When was it last paved?
- Does the type of driveway (paved, dirt, gravel..etc.) make sense for your area’s weather condition? Will you have to have it replaced?
- General upkeep - age of systems
- Check for any visible cracks
- Check for peeling paint, cracks and splits
- What is the condition of the lawn?
- Any trees that are falling or roots coming up from the ground?
- Manual or remote?
- Check the roof and foundation
- Are there plumbing hookups?
- Electrical outlets?
- Is there enough space for your vehicles and storage?
- Patio & Deck
- Condition of foundation or wood?
Have you found the perfect home?
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"Thanks for reading! I’m passionate about empowering home buyers and sellers with professional advice and unbiased information, throughout the real estate transaction. Unlike most agents, I always put clients first. When it comes to negotiating, marketing homes, and sealing the deal, I’ve got the experience and knowledge you’re looking for. If you have any questions about moving to VA, D.C., or MD, don’t hesitate to reach out."