Buying a Home- What Do I Look For?

January 25, 2021

Buying a home is often one of the biggest decisions and investments you can make throughout your life. Whether it be the financial impact of the decision or other factors related to the opportunity like the neighborhood you will live in. The feeling of buying your first home or even your final dream home are hard to put into words. Joy, excitement, anticipation. The list goes on… While there are countless positive emotions, there can also be times when you may feel nervous or doubtful about the decision of buying a home. Maybe you have unexpected feelings of dread with how long the search process has taken or having your offer denied by the seller. Does this make you different from the other 128 million people in the U.S. who own a home in 2020? (Statista, 2020) No, it really does not. 

This blog is not designed to bring your attention to all the steps of the homebuying process like pre-approval for a mortgage or creating a search criteria for your ideal home. Rather, we want to shed light on the walk throughs of the home and what to look for. It may be a virtual tour, in person tour, or just reading more into the house features. As a buyer, you want to be fully informed of the condition of the home and utilize resources that can help you better understand. These are not all the things you should put on your list to look for when analyzing your home, but some of these may spur renovation ideas or save you money down the road. 

Bedrooms

Although you may spend the majority of your time in the living room or want the kitchen to be the highlight of your home when you host guests, having a comfortable bedroom will help you sleep better at night (Literally!!!) Instead of simply focusing on the color of the walls in the bedroom or the type of flooring, you may first focus on your needs/wants for the bedroom. Do we want all of the bedrooms to be on the same floor or should we focus solely on 4 bedroom houses so each kid can have their own room? Maybe it is the potential upstairs bedroom with artificial light that could be transformed into your remote office space. What about the closet space and proximity to the nearest bathroom? Ultimately, the bedroom characteristics are centered around YOUR wishes and requirements, but it is important to think about them before walking into the house.

Can you guess what small thing people often look over when thinking about the bedrooms? Electrical outlets… 

The Bones 

DISCLAIMER: We are not talking about looking for skeleton bones throughout your house…

Have you ever heard a contractor or realtor say that the home has “good bones?” Well, this is not a step by step guide to help you become a real estate professional on seeing if a home has “good bones.” Instead, it is a reminder to not brush off the importance of conducting a thorough inspection with a trusted company and somewhat understanding how an appraiser comes to the assessed value. An appraisal or inspection may not point out everything about the home, since they are unbiased professional opinions, but they provide valuable insight on nearly everything related to your home. 

What might influence if your home has “good bones” throughout? The structural components… These do not all have to be inspected by you, just make sure you do not look over the inspection reports or opinions from professionals. A rotted beam, cracked floor joist, or leaking roof. Nearly every detailed inspection report may scare you at first glance and the repairs to fix some could be minimal. However, being able to listen to other professionals and understand the foundation of a home could benefit you. What is another factor of “good bones?” The floor plan…Is there wasted space somewhere that is limited by a structural wall? Or could you create better flow with an open concept simply by knocking down a non-load bearing wall? These are questions that you should feel comfortable asking your realtor, contractor, and yourself if you feel educated on the matter at hand. 

The Space

Obviously, the size and space of a home remains at the top of the list for most buyers in terms of their wants/needs. However, often those two factors seem to influence homeowners after they have already moved in. Although it seems difficult to visualize the space and flow of a home that may be empty on the initial walkthrough, (The Importance of Staging a Rental) you should have a general idea on the space requirements you would need. Do not just think square footage or whether you need the space right at that moment. What ways could you take advantage of space or will you need more storage space in three years when your family grows? The storage space may be used best in the unfinished basement or building storage racks in your laundry room. You do not need to include every single need or future project when you perform your initial walk through of your home, but start thinking about some of these ideas before you take the first steps into your new home. 

Buying a new home can be nerve-wracking or overwhelming, but hopefully you learned something new that might help you during the buying process. If you have any questions about this blog post, or you have any questions about real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out out via the chat on our website.

LIV Indy

LIV Indy