New Homebuyers: House Hunting Guidelines
The list below is a great way to get started on the path to finding your new home. It outlines important things to consider before you begin your search.
- Geographic Location: Consider factors such as average home prices in the area, job opportunities in your field, proximity to family, and climate preferences.
- City vs. Suburbs vs. Rural: Consider the type of area you want to live in, and what your needs are. Do you prefer the space that suburban or rural living provides or do you prefer the closeness of city living?
- Type of Home: Condos, townhomes, house, square footage and outdoor space – there are so many variables to consider. Are you a do it yourselfer when it comes to home maintenance or would you prefer the ease of care afforded with a condo? Remember condos and townhouses will probably have the added cost of a Homeowners Association Fee.
- Neighborhood: Choosing the right area to fit your lifestyle and personality, as well as researching facts and statistics on things such as income averages, education, school district performance, etc. to get a better sense of the community.
- School District: An important consideration if you have or plan to have children. Are you looking for private or public school system, and consider the costs involved. Areas with good school districts will hold their value in future years and afford you larger purchase demographic when you go to sell.
- Proximity to Work: Your daily commute, and how much time you are willing to drive or take public transportation in your everyday routine. Calculate the added costs of a long commute along with your commute time.
- Safety: Most would consider safety a key factor in selecting a neighborhood. There are online resources that allow you to check crime rates for an area you are considering.
- Leisure Activities: Free time is always something to consider. Do you want your new home to be close to sports, restaurants, shopping, culture, etc.?
- Visit During the Day and Night: You don’t just live in your home and neighborhood during the day. Before you decide on a home, it’s important to visit it at different times of the day and night to get the best sense of the neighborhood.
- Stay organized: Use these checklists to help you define your new home wish list and compare properties while house hunting.