10 Features Buyers Should Look for When Purchasing a New Home


starter home, you need to make sure you find the features that will meet your needs, at least for the foreseeable future. Here are a few items every home buyer should have on their list.

  1. A Good Real Estate Agent

There's no need to navigate the tricky waters of negotiating a real estate transaction on your own. A good agent can do a lot more than show you homes – he or she can also advise you and barter on your behalf.

  1. Location

In business, location is everything. Although there are a variety of areas that could serve your purposes when purchasing a home, location is still an important consideration. You'll want to start by deciding whether an urban, suburban, or rural setting is more your speed.

From there you should check crime rates for the neighborhoods you're interested in, as well as look for highly-rated school districts if you have kids or are planning to start a family. You might also want to check the weather in certain locales. In places like San Francisco, weather patterns can vary from one suburb to the next.

  1. Proximity to Amenities

Most people prefer a home that is close to their work, perhaps their family or friends, and amenities like public transportation, grocery stores and shopping centers. Proximity to outdoor recreation areas like parks and hiking trails is also a must for some homebuyers. You'll have to consider the amenities that are important to you and how close you want to be.

  1. Square Footage and Number of Rooms

You want a home that is suitably sized for your needs, whether you're living alone or moving in with a spouse, four kids, and two dogs. Having ample square footage and rooms ensures that everyone can have their own space and cohabitate peacefully. On the flipside, you don't want too much square footage since you're the one that has to clean and maintain the residence.

If you find a house that has everything that you are looking for, but there is just not enough room for your large sectional sofa and dozens of boxes you have stored in the basement, then all is not lost. Consider incorporating a self-storage locker into your budget so you can keep your items until you have room for them.

  1. Acreage

Land isn't often the highest priority for homeowners, unless you happen to have big dogs that love to run or you're looking for land that's zoned for large breeds. However, there are a number of reasons why you might prefer a larger lot.

Whether you love to entertain outdoors, you're planning to grow your own organic fruits and vegetables, or you'd like to build a guest house to rent out as a way to earn passive income, having adequate land could make a difference.

  1. House Orientation

Have you ever stopped to consider how a house is situated on a lot? As long as the door faces the street, the answer is probably no. However, the orientation of a structure on a lot can have a couple of important ramifications.

For one thing, the placement of the home will dictate where and when natural light comes in. If you don't want to have to install a blackout shade in your bedroom, it's best to choose a home where the morning light comes in on the other side of the house.

Orientation is also important if you want to install solar panels since you'll need a north-facing slope (i.e. roof surface) to gain the most value.

  1. Age

Some people prefer the aesthetics and architecture of bygone eras while others would rather have brand new construction that's never been lived in before. There are pros and cons to consider with each option.

  1. Modern Upgrades

Even if you select an older home, you might be on the lookout for modern upgrades. You'll certainly want new infrastructure like newer roofing, electrical wiring, and plumbing if at all possible.  You may also seek out modern design features like an open floor plan. Try not to focus too much on cosmetics (like flooring and paint color) that you can upgrade cheaply and easily once you move in.

  1. Available Space

In addition to ample square footage, you should consider how space is laid out and whether or not it is functional. Modern families have a lot of stuff, so even with plenty of space you might need to contract with an off-site self-storage facility.  Either way, you should at least consider how the space is arranged before you buy.

  1. Cost

Usually this is the first thing on any home buyer's list. Not only do you have to get pre-approved for a loan so you know how much money you have at your disposal, but you also need to calculate how much you can reasonably afford to spend monthly on a mortgage payment (and extras like homeowner's insurance, property tax, and perhaps HOA fees, not to mention maintenance and repairs).

The average home buyer has plenty of wants and needs, but you'll have to prioritize and compromise if you want to stick to a budget.


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