Whether you’re shopping for your first house or your fifth, it’s important to have a strategy going in. You want to buy the house of your dreams for your family – but you also want to buy a smart house that’s a good investment, so that both now and 5 years from now, you feel good about it. So here’s some tips on what to look for in a home for your family.
- Is the house structurally sound? Structural and foundational repairs can be some of the most costly. If the home has an unfinished basement, it’s relatively easy to check for foundational problems. Check for cracks – small cracks can just be from the home “settling,” but larger ones can be a sign of bigger issues. Some other telltale signs are doors not closing well in their frames or walls bowing.
- Check the plumbing and electric. Are there water stains on the ceiling or walls? Any strange odors (or lots of air fresheners as an attempt to cover it up?) Flip switches, check outlets, turn faucets, look for standing water in the yard. Just testing a few simple things could set your mind at ease or show you where you need to get deeper inspection.
- Are there signs of mold or insect problems? These unpleasant surprises are never fun to find – but much better to find them before you buy the house rather than after. Usually you can get the seller to cover any extra inspection and rectify the matter before closing.
- Check for random paint or amateur fixes. Homeowners often try their hand at updating or maintaining projects – some of them qualified, some of them not. If something seems a little off, don’t be afraid to ask about what kind of repair was done, or who did the update. You should be satisfied with how things were handled and not have to pay for someone else’s cheap fix later.
- What’s the temperature? There’s a lot of value in a well-insulated home. Check the windows, any drafty areas, and keep the age of the home in mind. Not only does having good insulation keep you comfortable – it also helps you save money.
The Wish List:
Everyone has a wish list of what they look for in a home: the perfect porch, Jacuzzi tub, open floor plan, a big yard for the kids to play in, a great school system. We recommend going through your initial list and decide on the top couple – because while you may not be buying a mansion with 3 stoves for when family comes over, you can still find a house that makes you incredibly happy to be in it. Here are some questions to ask yourself about what to look for in a home that you’ll love:
- How do I move through the house? How you move from indoor to outdoor spaces or between rooms should feel easy and efficient.
- What kind of lighting/windows do I like? Do you get enough natural light? You’d be surprised how much better you feel in a room with adequate windows.
- Is the yard and neighborhood safe? Especially when you have kids, this is a biggie – knowing that your kids have a safe place to play is huge. And one you shouldn’t compromise on.
- Do things fit our family and lifestyle? Things like ceiling height, kitchen features, location of laundry room – it might not be something you’ve written down, but they are the assumed things that make everyday life easier. If the rest of the house doesn’t fit your lifestyle, having the Jacuzzi tub might not be worth it.
When you find the perfect house – give us a call! We’re a family-built Christian mortgage lender, so we focus on getting you the best loan possible, even when others said no – because we get family and we believe in giving you our best.
The Christian Mortgage Mom