Last year saw a huge surge in new home purchases, largely thanks to people looking for more space to “social distance” and work from home.
The homebuying process can be downright overwhelming (school district! vinyl siding or brick? open concept!?) … but what are actually the most important things to look for in a home? We have a few ideas.
If you’re in the market for a new home, consider these factors before you hit an open house:
- Location, Location, Location!
It’s a real estate cliche for a reason. After all, you can remodel, paint, update, or tweak just about anything in your home except the location — that’s why where the home is located sits at the top of this list!
Think about the neighborhood, your commute, your amenities and proximity to schools, work, parks, friends, restaurants and favorite hangouts. Beyond that, consider the ease of access into and out of the neighborhood, how the home is situated on the lot, and who or what your lot backs up to.
- Square Footage and Floor Plan
It’s easy to get stars in your eyes when you are scrolling through houses online, but it’s important to be practical. A big house offers more elbow room, but also costs more to heat and cool. Can you really make do with two bathrooms, or do you actually need to hold out for three?
Is there a practical layout flow that works for your family? Be realistic with these assessments — in other words, don’t be overly optimistic and try to talk yourself into a wonky floor plan just because you’re “house hungry.”
- Consider the Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of the home. Inevitably, it’s not just where meals are made, but it’s where kids plop down with schoolwork, where work emails are written, and where guests always end up at the end of the night. Home makeover shows make kitchen remodels look like an easy feat — and it is doable. Depending on the scale of the project, it can also be very costly.
Appliances can usually be easily upgraded, cabinet pulls can be replaced, and walls can be painted without breaking a budget. But generally speaking, when you’re looking at homes to buy, you need to either factor renovations into your budget or pass. Don’t settle for a home with a kitchen you don’t love — you’ll be spending a lot of time here.
- Let There Be Light
Natural light is hard to fake in a space. There are some tricks of the trade (such as strategically placing mirrors), but this is something to pay attention to when looking at a home. It’s typically possible to install windows, but that can get pricey.
Additionally, be on the lookout for the locations of electrical outlets and fixtures. Are you working with recessed lighting, cove lighting, outdated ceiling fans? Lighting fixtures can be upgraded once you move in, but it all needs to be factored into your budget.
- Curb Appeal
When you pull into your driveway after a long day of work, you want your home to illicit all the warm and fuzzy feelings. Your home is a reflection of you — and the style of your exterior should say so.
Practically speaking, pay attention to the roof and other exterior surfaces. Is the siding peeling? Is the deck disintegrating? Are the shutters ancient?Of course, if you do buy a home that needs a little love, Monument Shutters has a solution for you. Upgrading shutters is a quick way to make a home look completely revived and instantly add value. Shop shutters now!