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Posts tagged ‘house hunting’

How do you choose a house?

What criteria are you looking for in a home?

When you are ready to start looking at homes, you and your agent will go through all of the homes offered for sale in your neighborhood in your price range. From the list, and there could be many, you’ll select the homes that meet the criteria you need and want in a home. Some things to consider are:

  •  How many bedrooms do you want?
  • How many bathrooms do you want?
  • What’s your preference in terms of outdoor space? Do you want a backyard, a garden, a lawn, a patio, a deck?
  • Do you want a garage?
  • Do you want a basement? Do you want a finished basement?
  • What room sizes are you comfortable with?
  • What floor plans or styles of homes do you like? Do you like split level homes, colonial homes, ranch homes, bi-levels, Tudors, Victorians, expanded ranch, Cape Cod or contemporary homes?
  • How much storage space is essential to you?
  • What upgrades are you looking for – gourmet kitchens, hardwood floors, granite countertops, and skylights?
  • Do you want a swimming pool?
  • Are you comfortable with a fixer-upper?

You’ll probably be able to take a list of all of the homes in your neighborhood in your price range and then narrow it down to a few that appeal to you based upon these characteristics.  Finally, your agent will schedule times for you to see each home on your list!

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On your first showing day, you may find yourself getting confused by all the possibilities. Your agent will help you by pointing out the comparisons between the homes and helping you to see the home’s best features.

It often helps to keep a record of the homes that you’ve seen, their location, list price, and features that you love and don’t love about each home.

Buying a home is a financial decision and a business decision, but it’s also a very emotional decision. It might take two or three or even more showing days to find the right home for you and  your family. If you are exceptionally clear about the criteria that you want and don’t want in a home, your agent will be able to help you find the right home more quickly.

 

How to choose a neighborhood

 

An old joke goes like this:

Q: What are the three most important factors in a home?

A: Location, location, location.

But it’s not really a joke. Where you choose to live will have as much, or more, of an impact on your quality of life as the home you choose. westdown

What characteristics do you want in your neighborhood? Some things to consider are:

  •  How do you feel about your commute? Do you want to live 5 minutes from work or are you ok with living 30 or 60 minutes from work? Are you willing to drive on highways and take bridges or tunnels to get there, or will you be willing to take mass transit? Select neighborhoods that allow you to have the commute you prefer.
  • How important are the quality and proximity of schools to you? If you have, or will have children, then you want to do some research into the schools in the neighborhoods before you commit to a house. How close do you want to be to the schools – is walking distance necessary, or will you drop your children off at school or will they take a school bus?
  • Do you want community parks, green space, lakes, playgrounds, or other recreation available near by? If so, then make sure that the neighborhoods you choose have those amenities.
  • Is it important to you that shopping be within walking distance or within a short car ride? Are you comfortable driving 20-30 minutes for groceries?
  • The type of restaurants in a neighborhood might be an important factor for you. If you like to dine out, then you’ll want to choose a neighborhood that provides the types of restaurants that you enjoy.
  • For many home buyers, the proximity of a House of Worship to their home is an important factor.

This is the most important advice we can give you – Spend some time in each of the neighborhoods you’re considering. Get to know the neighborhood and the people in it – eat in the restaurants, shop in the stores, visit the library. Go to the post office and the convenience store. Do these people seem like people you want to live near? What’s the “feel” of the neighborhood?

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