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Looking for a new home can be an exciting prospect but it’s often easy to get carried away in the house-hunting process and end up purchasing a home that doesn’t quite suit you, your lifestyle or your family.
Getting off on the right foot is important and it’s often useful to compile a checklist to allow you to weigh the relative merits of a home against how you live. Here are a few tips to help you stay focused when looking to buy a new home:
Location, location, location
It’s an often-over-used phrase but, really, the location of your next home is crucially important. After all, you can change pretty much any aspect of a house from its interior décor to its exterior cladding but you most certainly can’t change its location.
When choosing a new home, take time to study the neighborhood and, if possible, try to speak to potential neighbors to find out why they like living in that particular area. You should also bear in mind a home’s proximity to your work, your children’s school, your friends and family, and so on. Also, think about possible traffic issues, the potential danger of busy roads, noise from neighbors – and don’t forget to check the neighborhood for shops, parks and other amenities.
Most people have a general idea of areas where they’d like to live so check online for realtors with houses for sale in regions where you want to be.
Location is the single most important factor in choosing a new home and, when you come to move on, a well-located home in a nice neighborhood with good amenities will also be much easier to sell.
The right size and layout of a home
House buyers are often swayed by a home’s looks or curb appeal without thinking about the practicalities of living in it. If you live alone, you likely don’t need a massive house and buying big will only result in larger heating bills and increased costs from needing more furniture or spending more to redecorate. Buy a home that best fits you and your lifestyle rather than letting looks influence you too much.
Remember the kitchen
For most families, the kitchen is the beating heart of a home – a place to congregate, share a coffee and discuss the events of the day. A kitchen is much, much more than just a place to cook and eat so make sure you buy a home that has a kitchen area that works for you and your family. While it’s true you could obviously renovate, kitchen makeovers don’t come cheap and it’s much easier and cheaper if you can avoid having to do substantial work. Remember to see past superfluous items like cabinet faces or countertops (i.e. items that are easy and cheap to replace) and instead think about the space and whether it works for your lifestyle.
Windows and lighting
It’s a good idea to visit a prospective home at different times of the day to see how much natural sunlight it receives. Natural lighting can greatly affect your mood so most people prefer a home that is bathed in sunlight throughout the day. Also, remember to check for surrounding buildings or trees that might affect the amount of light the house gets at different times of the day.