When you’re in the market to buy a home, you want to consider more than what the home looks like and even more than what will come up in the inspection. You want to be sure the wiring is up to code, the roof doesn’t leak, that it has a solid foundation and more. But even those things won’t necessarily make the biggest impact on your experience of a home. It all depends on your priorities, for you, it might be the flow from one room to the next, the light quality and the time spent mowing the lawn or shoveling snow off your driveway.

What matters most to you?

12 Things to Consider When Buying Your First or Next Home

1. Neighborhood

Most people look at homes located in neighborhoods they have a desire to be in. However, it’s important to really look at that neighborhood. For families with children, the school district is a huge mitigating factor.

Another mitigating factor in the decision process is how close to work and other family the home is.  Don’t forget to check out its amenities – can you walk or bike in your neighborhood safely? Are there any parks or libraries close by? Does the location offer public transportation?

2. Home Size

A home’s size is another thing to consider. Previous generations lived in small homes (and it’s a growing trend now with people looking to simplify and downsize), but some families still prefer plenty of space. After all, children love to turn a living space into their own playroom.  A home that doesn’t offer a lot of space can be a huge headache.

Of course, homes with a large living room and or rooms that can be turned into a playroom are great for children to grow. And with extra room, adults can have a safe haven for themselves – to get away from the busyness of everyday life.

3. Practicality

Along with home size, you need to consider the family size and how the home would fit it. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the dining room and kitchen big enough to cook and serve your meals? Can it handle any additional friends and family that may come over and eat together?
  • Is the laundry room large enough to fit a large-capacity washing machine? If you have children who are active in sports or just active, this is something to really consider.
  • Is there plenty of closet/storage space for everybody’s items? Consider your children’s age.
  • Do you like spending some time outside? Does the home offer a big yard, a pool or patio for you to enjoy with the family?

4. Safety

When it comes to safety in the home, you need to look at the layout, furniture and fixtures. Then asking yourself the following questions:

  • Should you have an open floor plan to keep an eye on the kids while you’re in the kitchen? Does an open floor plan make it harder to childproof the home so they stay out of reach from the dangerous items?
  • Is it necessary to have built-in closets or cupboards that could pose a hazard to smaller children who can get trapped inside?
  • How will you manage stair use for your younger children?
  • Are there any sharp corners on the shelves, tables and countertops?
  • Is the wiring and sockets out of children’s reach? And, if they’re not, are you able to childproof them?
  • Should the property offer a pool or yard, is there are fence that surround them?

5. Outdoor-Indoor Flow

Can you easily move from outdoor to indoor living spaces and vice versa? This can be a big impact on how you feel about your home. If you regard this as an important quality, consider looking or sliding, French or accordion glass doors that lead away from the key living spaces to the outside world.

6. Features Of Kitchen

What is your wish list for the kitchen? Your wish list for the kitchen really needs to be considered when buying a home. Do you prefer to cook with an electric stove or a gas one? Look at the kitchen’s layout, the number of sinks and storage space. Does the kitchen offer an island for you to enjoy?

7. Number of Bathrooms

Do you have teenagers? Do you like to have a private bathroom for yourself or for you and your spouse? Do you want to have a separate bathroom for guests? Be sure that the number of bathrooms meets the needs of your family.

8. Natural Light

When people attend an open house, they don’t generally think of a home’s natural light. However, natural light can be extremely beneficial to a home. After you’ve narrowed down your list of homes, consider taking a view of them during another part of the day. This will give you a better indication of what the lighting is like for the home.

9. Location of Laundry Room

Is your laundry room in a good spot? Is it located in the basement where you need to climb up and down the stairs, lugging your laundry? Many people would rather have their laundry room located on the main floor. Keep that feature in mind.

10. Cooling/Heating Systems

Here in Bend, Oregon we have very cold days in the winter and several days in the summer that are hot, you want a heating/cooling system that works all year round. Make sure a home has a heating/cooling system and that the system works, as replacing or repairing one could become costly.

11. Architectural Features and Future Flexibility

Be sure you look at all the home’s architectural features. Do they highlight the home’s positive spots? With eye-appealing molding and mantels, a home can look amazing.

When it comes to buying a home, you need to consider what you’d like the home to look like in the future. You may want to add another room to the home, build a deck or anything else. Does the lot offer you the ability to do this?

12. Neighbor Proximity

If you value your privacy, you don’t want to live in a location where your closest neighbor is right outside your front door. Therefore, walking the property perimeter will give you an idea of how close your neighbors are to your home. If you really value privacy, you may want to look at a home situated on a large piece of land.

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