House Hunting Checklist: Your A-Z Guide To Finding The Perfect Home

Published September 13, 2016

There are a number of things that you have to keep in mind when buying a new home. Having an A-Z checklist will help you to remember all of the things that you are looking for in your new property.

A: Attractiveness: This is important for social, personal, and resale value reasons. You want to live in a home that you find attractive, and that others will as well. In some cases it will be possible to do renovations that can improve the look of a space. You also need to evaluate the appearance of the neighborhood.

B: Basements: You should always evaluate the basement of a home to determine whether there may be water or flooding issues. These spaces are often prone to mold. However a finished basement can be an attractive feature that can exponentially increase the size and function of your home.

C. Ceilings: Higher ceiling on the interior of a home will make the space feel larger, and more expansive. However they will also be harder to clean.

D. Dining Rooms: Not every property will have a full room set aside for dining. Some will have a dinette area, and others will require you to eat in the kitchen. If the kitchen is too small then you may not have a place to put a table for gathering and eating at all.

E. Environmental Concerns: Is the property that you are purchasing ecologically friendly? There are a number of large appliances and features that can save energy, generate energy naturally, and keep your comfortable with green practices.

F. Flooring: The type of floors that exist in a space will have a dramatic effect on how it will feel, and how it can be used. Some materials will require constant maintenance, while others may be easy to keep clean.

G. Garage: If you have a car then a garage can be a luxury, as well as a safety element when purchasing a home. Placing your vehicle in an enclosed building will keep it safe from both burglary and the elements.

H. Housing Needs: How many people will be living in this space? You need to match the size and number of rooms to the population of your family in order to ensure you have enough room for everyone. If there are children involved then it will be necessary to decide whether they will have to share a bedroom.

I. Investment Potential: Real estate is not just a place to live, it is also one of the best investments that you can make. However some properties will increase and hold value better than others. Researching the relative value of different homes in the area over time can give you an idea of the potential profit you might stand to make.

J. Justification: You need to make sure that your goals are clear before purchasing a home. This will depend on whether you want to start a family, as well as your projected career path. Only by looking at all of the different aspects of your life can you determine if it is time to purchase a home, and what kind of property it should be.

K. Kitchen: This is often the most important room in the house. It can act as a social center for the entire family, as well as a source of nourishment, and warmth. The features in this space such as refrigerators, ovens, counters, and cabinets can all be quite expensive, and the style of these pieces can effect the price of a home dramatically. If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen then it is important for you to choose one that you feel comfortable, and at ease in.

L. Living Room: This room is also vital as it is the space that will most often bring friends and family together. It is also very visible to guests as it will be the environment where you’ll be most likely to interact with them. That is why it is important for this space to have a relaxed feel that helps promote a sense of social flow.

M. Mortgage: Home’s are generally too expensive to purchase outright, requiring a loan known as a mortgage to be taken out in order to pay for them over time. The monthly payments as well as the interest should be calculated carefully so that you don’t go over budget.

N. Neighborhood: Before you purchase a home it is often useful to spend some time in the neighborhood, getting to know the feel and flow of the environment to ensure that you actually want to live there.

O. Opportunities: Some cities offer more of a specific job then others. That causes many people to move to those locations in order to pursue further employment opportunities.

P. Parking: If the house being purchased is in a crowded neighborhood or city then having a dedicated parking spot can be a vital element to a home.

Q. Quantity: The more rooms you have the more upkeep will be required to maintain the look of the home. At the same time you want to ensure that there is plenty of space for everyone who will be living there to have their own privacy.

R. Return On Investment: When purchasing a house as an investment it is always important to look at the key factors that will influence its short-term value. This can involve the popularity of the neighborhood and the quality of the property.

S. Stairs: Older people, or those who have small children, might want to stay away from purchasing homes that have stairs. Those can be dangerous obstacles that may lead to serious accidental injuries.

T. Time: You should know what your long term goals are so that you can pick a house that will fit your needs.

U. Underlayment: Have a professional check the padding or material underneath the floor for the presence of mold, mildew, or other harmful microorganisms.

V. Viability: Some houses are very private, fenced in and nestled away in neighborhoods. Others are out right on the edge of street corners. This can raise important safety concerns for families.

W. Water: If there are water features nearby such as lakes, rivers, or an ocean, then the home may be prone to flooding.

X. The X Factor: Sometimes you just fall in love with a house. While it is best to let logic rule your decision, you also have to live in this place so you need to at least enjoy it a little on a personal level.

Y. Yard: A yard is great if you have children, or pets, but can be a problem to care for over time.

Z. Zeal: At the end of the day you have to be excited about the property. If you find that you’re taking a lackluster approach to the process then you may be looking at the wrong opportunity.