Millions of Americans search for houses every year. They look at millions of homes, each with its own features. Comparing and contrasting homes can be overwhelming.
You don’t have to have a pie in the sky dream home. But you should have a few items on your house-hunting checklist. Yet people don’t know what to look for.
Look no further. Here are six items to put on your house hunting must-haves checklist.
1. Exposure to the Sun
Natural light promotes productivity and helps us regulate our circadian cycles. Natural light warms homes as effectively as most heating systems, driving energy bills down.
For the best sun exposure, you want a southern-oriented home. Southern-oriented homes let in a balanced amount of heat and light. Eastern-oriented homes let in too much light as the sun rises, and western homes let in too much as it sets.
It may not be enough to have southern-facing windows. Homes should have evergreen plants set back from their windows. Shades should open out and awnings should hang from the windows.
You want a house that maximizes space and movement. Consider wheelchair accessibility and measures for people with mobility issues. Every staircase should have strong railings and carpeting should be flat.
There are some other measures you can consider. Doorways should be at least three feet wide. This allows you to carry furniture from room to room.
Doors should have levers instead of doorknobs. Levers should open without too much twisting. Doors should push open and close shut without effort.
Showers shouldn’t have high curbs. But showers should still have privacy features. A film should be installed on the shower divider, and the shower should be positioned away from the door.
Lightswitches should have buttons or rocker functions. If you are struggling with a heavy object, you should not have to flip a switch.
3. Great Exterior
Painting and landscaping your home are classic ways to increase the value of your property.
Take a good look at the home you are visiting. Notice the colors and textures of your home’s exterior.
Then take a good look at the landscape. Make sure the mulch and yards are fresh. Make sure the flowers are well-tended and the trees full of life.
You will have to maintain your landscaping, so walk around the yards. Make sure you can move in and out, carrying equipment as you need it. Ask the realtor about local gardening and painting companies.
The exterior matters for more than looks. Your roof needs to be resilient against inclement weather, including wind.
Inspect your roof by going up to the attic. If you notice any signs of damage, do not buy that house. Inform the realtor so they can make immediate repairs.
4. A Spare Bedroom
The number of bedrooms is a huge factor in the value of your house. The more bedrooms you have, the more valuable your house is.
Yet many people get a house with only as many bedrooms as they need. That is okay, but you should consider getting a spare bedroom.
A spare bedroom allows you to grow your family and take in an elderly relative. You can also have guests stay in your home. If you want some extra money, you can rent out the bedroom.
A second master bedroom is the best bedroom to have. But any type of bedroom will do. Make sure there is enough room for the guest and their belongings.
An extra bedroom in the basement or attic is very valuable. This provides maximum privacy for your guest and their family.
Insulation will save you money and comfort you. But insulation is about more than weather stripping around windows.
Walk through every room of the house. Take a note of what the temperature is supposed to be. If you notice a cold or warm current anywhere, the house isn’t insulated properly.
Go up into the attic since most houses lose heat there. The best insulations include material that keeps cold out and keeps heat in. Insulation should combine loose filling with insulation rolls and radiant barriers.
Make sure that you can install additional insulation if you need it. Each room should have enough space that you can install insulation.
6. Good Community
Your home is about more than your house. You need to feel at home within your community.
Talk to the neighbors about the community to make sure it’s safe and welcoming. If you have time, talk to local community leaders. Ask them about the issues facing the community and what they do to fix them.
Make sure you can access your place of employment from your home. Make sure your children can get to school on time.
You should have access to roadways and to public transportation. Your home should be located near grocery stores and any additional services you need.
Compare the value of the home to the area’s value. If the value of the home is very different from the area, try to figure out why.
Check the Boxes off Your House-Hunting Checklist
House hunting is a hunt for good reason. Many houses compete for one homebuyer’s attention. Make your house-hunting checklist with a few basic items.
Your house should have southern-facing windows with access to sunlight. The ergonomics should make sense, and the exterior should be pleasing and navigatable. A spare bedroom, insulation, and a good neighborhood are necessities.
Get in touch with someone who can help you check all your boxes. Dean Miller Real Estate has decades of experience in practicing and studying real estate. Contact us today, or call us at 516-248-5007.