House Hunting Wish List: Features Every Family Home Should Have
Buying a home is one of the most stressful things you’ll ever do. In fact, about 40 percent of Americans who have purchased a home in the past call it the most stressful life event they’ve ever faced.
But there are some simple ways to reduce the stress you feel when shopping for homes. One of the best ways is to create a house hunting wish list for yourself before you begin the process.
You, of course, want a home to have a sturdy foundation and a new-ish roof. But those aren’t the only amenities to look out for when buying a home.
Here are 7 other things that should be on your home buying wish list.
1. Great Location
Even if you’ve never shopped for real estate before, you’re probably familiar with the phrase, “Location, location, location.” Real estate agents repeat it early and often to their clients.
And for good reason! You can find the absolute best home ever for you and your family. It might even look like what you imagine your dream home to be.
But if the home is in the wrong location? It’s not the home for you.
A home might be in the wrong location if:
- The property values in its general area have been declining for a decade now
- It’s situated right near a highway or an airport
- The local school district isn’t great
Don’t get blinded by all the amazing amenities inside of a home. If it’s not in an ideal location, continue shopping around for homes in the right areas.
2. Enough Bedrooms and Bathrooms
Do you have five kids, three dogs, a cat, and a mother-in-law who visits for long weekends at least once every month?
If so, a house that has three bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms is not going to be your best option. Even if you can somehow manage to make it work, it’s not going to offer you any opportunities to grow further (and your mother-in-law won’t be too happy shacking up at a hotel every month!).
Prior to looking around at different homes for sale in your area, consider how many bedrooms and bathrooms you’ll need—and stick to the numbers you come up with.
3. Updated Kitchen and Bathrooms
If you don’t mind doing a little work and spending a lot of money to remodel the kitchen and bathrooms in a home when you move in, you don’t have to include an updated kitchen and bathrooms on your house hunting wish list.
That means that you could be forced to sink a lot of money into a home that has a kitchen and bathrooms that are on the older side. Why not avoid that altogether by investing in a home that already has these areas updated?
4. Modern Appliances
You’re going to check out tons of homes when you’re shopping for one. When you walk through these houses, pay close attention to the appliances in them.
Appliances can cost more than you might think. Here is a rough estimate on how much each individual appliance could end up costing:
- Refrigerator: Anywhere from $1,000 all the way up to $8,000
- Oven: Between $600 and $2,000
- Washing machine: From $400 for top-loading machines up to $1,000 for front-loading machines
- Dryer: Anywhere from $400 to $1,000
- Dishwasher: Somewhere in the neighborhood of $400 to $700
If you don’t like the appliances in a home, you should, at very least, make sure you can live with them for a little while. The last thing you want to do is buy a home and have to start replacing appliances right away.
5. Well Maintained HVAC System
Before you buy a home, you should always have a home inspection done. During the inspection, an inspector should take a close look at every aspect of the home you want to buy.
As part of this, they should inspect an HVAC system to see what kind of condition it’s in. Repairing a home’s heating and cooling system can cost hundreds of dollars, and replacing it could cost thousands.
Ask your inspector if it appears as though the HVAC system in the home you want to buy has been maintained properly. If it’s in bad condition, that should be a big red flag.
6. Energy Efficient Windows and Doors
If there are older windows and doors in a home, they’re likely going to have an impact on the curb appeal of it. They’re also going to drag down the interior design.
But worst of all, old windows and doors don’t provide the insulating properties that newer ones do. This will often force a home’s HVAC system to work harder than it should have to in order to heat and cool a property.
Keep an eye out for homes with energy efficient windows and doors. They can save you hundreds of dollars every year in energy costs.
7. Spacious Backyard
A big backyard isn’t a necessity for all homeowners. There are some people who don’t want too much outdoor space since they’ll be responsible for maintaining it.
But the more land you can get when purchasing a new home, the better it will be for your bottom line. When you go to sell your home one day, the land will allow you to command top dollar for the home.
Put Your House Hunting Wish List Together Today
There are so many things you’ll need to consider when shopping for homes. It’s why a house hunting wish list will really come in handy.
Your list will allow you to find a home that’s in the right location. It’ll also allow you to get the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms in a home. And it’ll even help you avoid making the mistake of buying a home with older appliances, a poorly maintained HVAC system, or old windows and doors.
Want to see some other mistakes you should avoid when house shopping? Read our blog to check out common mistakes home buyers make during the home buying process.