Everything to bear in mind while finding your new home
If you’re looking for your new dream home, you should know what to look for before you start touring open houses. From budget and location to amenities and size, here’s how to find the perfect home for you without too much hassle.
Know what you want in your new home, starting with the basics. If you love to cook, look for a big kitchen, entertain a lot? — Lots of space and open floor plan. If you’re starting a family, make sure your home has enough bedrooms.
Separate your list into three sections: most haves — these are the things you aren’t willing to compromise on. Nice but not necessary, things you would like to have, but can cope without, or add later, like a swimming pool. No-no’s, if there are certain things you couldn’t live with or fix later, like the yard is way too small or living next to the freeway, don't even take a second look.
Pretty often, if homeowners want a quick sell, a lot of the house is going to have quick fixes rather than proper repairs, so make sure you're thorough if you're considering making an offer. A cheap coat of paint on the bath tub will come off within weeks, and paint splinters under your fingernails are not fun.
Granite countertops in the kitchen are awesome, but make sure it’s quality granite. If it’s too porous or not properly sealed, it may stain.
If the house has wood floors, ceilings etc, make sure you take a close look for wood borer or white ants, these things can wreck your home in a matter of years. Also, be sure not to bring in any wooden furniture that might be infested.
Health and Safety
Ask the previous owner or the estate agency for certification that all the plumbing and electrics are a-ok. If you have kids or are planning to, make sure the house you're buying is child-friendly and/or fairly easy to kiddy-proof.
If you’re asthmatic or suffer from allergies, stay away from thatch, and don't buy anything downwind of an industrial area, you’ll spend more money at the doctor than you might save on your house.
Don’t be scared to look at things out of your price range, most estate agents are willing to negotiate somewhat. If you find your dream home and it’s a little out of your price range, make an offer anyway, you could be lucky and get it.
If it seems too good to be true, maybe it is — but not always. Bank foreclosures generally sell for a lot less than their true value, so they are definitely worth a look.
So, whether you’re buying something just for you, or you and your partner are buying your first family home, make sure you know what you want and what to look for. Buy your house knowing that you got the best deal for a great home and make it your own.