House hunting is a lot like a scavenger hunt. With only a few clues and a little information, it takes a lot of work to find where you are going next. It is hard, but not impossible. With some help from others and a little preparation, you can navigate to your goal and find the prize of a home that is perfect for your family. Here are some tips that can help you with your scavenger hunt.
It is essential when you are searching to know what you are looking for first. Sitting down with your family and deciding what features you need to have is essential. Once you see what features you are looking for, you will be able to see what homes will work for you in your search. There are other things to consider in your search as well.
Neighborhoods What is the commute like for those that are working? Are you interested in parks nearby? What is the proximity to shopping, and grocery stores? How close do you want to be to neighbors?
Cell Phone Coverage What is the cell phone coverage like in your area? How important is cell phone coverage to you for work or other essential activities?
Home Values What are the home values like in the area? How does the home compare to the price range you are looking for?
Additional bills In a home there will always be monthly bills for gas, heat, garbage, HOA, internet and cable and other monthly expenses. Do some research on what bills will cost on a monthly basis for your family so you can get a better gauge on what it will cost in addition to your mortgage.
What are some questions you should be asking about the interior of the home?
Flooring, Windows, Ceilings Look at the condition of the floor. Is it updated or will it need some repairs? What about the windows? Is there any condensation coming through or broken windows? What about the ceilings? Are they in good condition?
Walls What shape are the walls in? Are there any dents or holes that need to be taken care of? Will they need to be painted?
Bathroom & Kitchen Check faucets for leaks, check for any mold in any areas where there is water. Check the toilets and see if they flush correctly.
Rooms Check to see if there is any damage on walls, if there is adequate space and closets that meet your needs.
Stairs If there are stairs, do they have adequate handrails and is there and squeaking?
Systems Make sure to check the heating, electrical, water and sewer. Are they up to date? Will you need to make any repairs on these soon?
Make sure to look at the exterior of the house.
Roof Check to see if the roof has any bumps, holes or excessive discoloration or moss that could cause future costly repairs.
Foundation and Driveway Check the foundation for any significant cracks.
Siding Check the paint job on the house for cracking and peeling.
Lawn How does the grass look? Are there any holes or dry patches that need fixing?
Garage Test out the garage to see if it is functioning correctly.
When you take a good look at the structure of the house and look at the details carefully, you can get a good feel for what the cost of the house will be for future repairs.