Having lunch with one of our kids today brought back memories of when I sold real estate. As we talked about house hunting and what they would look for in the next house, I thought it might be interesting to share a few tips. This has nothing to do with food, but thought it might come in handy.
When I sold houses, I kept a list of things to look for when out looking at property. If you are not in the market for buying a house, maybe your kids or friends might be. So print this list and have it handy to give to anyone thinking about buying.
1. When looking at houses, drive by the home you are interested in, several different times of the day. Just because the street might be empty when you are looking, doesn’t always give the same impression after 5 p.m. Some streets fill up with cars after work hours.
2. If buying a house in the states which have a “hot” summer, look for houses that face North/South instead of East/West! or at least check to see if the yard you would be using, is not be in direct West sun. Are there lots of windows facing West which would increase the electric bill and need for extra shades during the summer.
3. If you are a couple with a possible growing family, does the living area allow for a space for toys/children’s play area. Remember that even if there is a separate play area from where you will be “living”, kids never play in the play area until after the age of 5 or 6, (and even then, they want to be where you are) they will always play where you are, so be sure there is enough living space to accommodate play pens, toys and the large couches, which are the trend right now..
4. Is the home close enough to your work that you don’t spend a lot of your free time on the freeway going back and forth.
5. Take in account that if the neighborhood has a lot of rental property, their will be a lot of transition in ownership. Also, it will effect the resale price of the home that you are currently looking.
6. Is the neighborhood trying to attract young families or older couples who are looking to downsize? If you are looking to have friends in your new place, this might be important to you. Once again, this is another reason to drive through the neighborhoods at a couple of different times of the day.
7. Make a list of what is important to you and to your husband/wife. Take the list with you and as you go into the home, either take pictures or write down what you like/dislike about each place that you might be interested. You might think that you will remember each house, but at the end of the day, and as you try to think back, it’s not always easy to distinguish all the pros and cons.
8. I always told the people that I worked with that if the house didn’t feel like “home” to them, then probably it might not ever feel like home. Most of the time, women know the minute they walk in the door if it is the house for them. Each home has a certain feel, so don’t force trying to make it feel like home. Take your time and know that there is a house out there just for you. Don’t just settle, because it is a “good deal”. If it doesn’t feel right, it will cost you more in the long run having to move again, if you aren’t happy with it.