When looking for a new house it’s normal to get excited about a great opportunity and forget to check practical details that could make a big difference in your future home. In this article we share 8 things you should consider checking when you are looking for a house.
Location is one of the most important things to think about when looking for a house, either for yourself or to buy as an investment. If your home is wonderful, but you don’t like the neighbourhood, you will want to move out sooner than expected. On the other hand, you’ll more easily live in an imperfect home surrounded by a neighbourhood (and neighbours) you love than otherwise.
Besides that, have in mind the proximity of your house to parks, schools, supermarkets and public transportation. Proximity to your workplace is also to be considered as a long time spent in your commute could rob you of some quality of life.
2. The Site
Beyond the location, take a critical look at the site of the home. Is the house on a hill? Does it have a view? To what or where? Does it have a lot of steps to climb? Can your neighbours look directly into your house from middle of the street? If it has a garden, is it safe to leave children and pets outside? Is it properly fenced? Don’t forget to take these important details into consideration.
3. The Neighbourhood
Your neighbourhood is almost as important as the house itself, so make sure you visit the house at different hours to check if the neighbours aren’t too noisy. If you can, another option is driving around the neighbourhood both on weekdays and weekends. Try to find out the following:
Do the neighbours keep the yards clean and tidy, or are there old cars and trash around?
Are there children playing outside or people walking their dogs looking relaxed? Is the neighbourhood safe enough for people to walk, run, or bike?
Be sure the neighbourhood – and not just the house – meets your expectations.
4. The size and your future plans
The importance of the size of your future home goes without saying, but this is especially important if you’re planning to make it your forever home or at least your home for many years to come. Take into consideration your future plans when evaluating if the size fits your life: are you planning on having (more) children? How many people are already moving in?
The house should fit your current life but also be prepared for changes in your life and family dynamic.
5. The lighting
Before you commit to a house, be sure to visit it a few times at different hours of the day. This will help you evaluate the amount of natural light the house receives at different times and where. If natural light is very important to you don’t skip this step.
6. Heating and cooling performance
Depending on the location of the house, AC and/or heat may be must-haves. Make sure you check the cooling and heating system to see if they are working or if they will need repairing or a new installation. Turn the appliances on and off to see how (and if) they are working. Don’t be afraid to test everything.
7. The state of the roof
One of the most important things to know about your maybe-future home if the state of the roof. How old is it? What’s its general condition? Is it damaged? When was its last repair? The realter should be able to answer these questions. Do a visual check of the roof by walking around the house. Look for damaged or missing shingles, rusted flashing, moss or dirt and any other spots that worry you. A damaged roof can seriously impact your house so make sure its condition is good or that it’s repaired.
8. Water damage
The effects of water damage can be very visible in the form of stains on the ceiling. When checking a house for water stains also check under sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms and test all the faucets and showers.
Now that you’ve read our list of 8 things to check when you’re looking for a house, take a look at our property offer.