When you’re looking for a home, ask yourself these six questions to ensure that it meets your basic needs.
1. Is it within the right distance to work, church, family, and friends?
One of the first things a real estate consultant will ask you is about location. Think about where you like to shop, where you work, where you worship, and where your friends and family live. Some people are willing to commute a little further to work in order to live closer to family and friends. Others, particularly those who like to sleep in, prefer to live closer to the office.
2. Does it have enough bedrooms and bathrooms?
How many children do you have, or do you plan to have others while you’re living in this home?
Do you have three teenaged daughters? If so, you probably don’t want to be sharing a bathroom with them! Do you have frequent visitors in your home? Do you need a separate guest room? A separate bath?
3. Is there enough storage space?
Do you need a basement or attic? Do you change your floral arrangements and décor with the passing of the seasons? If so, you will probably need storage space for the items currently out of season.
4. Is there parking?
Is a garage absolutely necessary? For how many cars? Could you live with a covered outdoor space or will dedicated parking space suffice?
5. Is it safe?
Are you willing to live near a toxic waste site or municipal garbage dump? Would your children be safe playing near a busy intersection? Is it in a high-crime area? Local papers and police departments can provide the crime statistics for a neighborhood.
6. Is it in the right school district?
Will your children walk to school, take a bus, or will you have to drive them? Many school districts have a reporting system that indicate the qualifications of teachers and administrators, and demonstrates the performance of students. You can contact the school district office for more details.
If the home meets these basic requirements, then start to look for how many things from your wish list it has.
For example, does it have a garden or deck, does it have an oversized tub in the master suite, does it have a separate laundry room, is there a fireplace? What’s the condition of the house?
Remember, you can paint, decorate, gut the interior, replace shingles with slate, add a deck, add a pool, pave the driveway, and even plant flowers. But, it’s rare that you want to move a home. There is some truth in that adage, “You can change everything about a home except its location.”