When shopping for a new home, most people know to look out for the big red flags such as foundation issues, water damage signs, or pest problems, which is great. But, looking out for not-so-obvious things that could potentially affect your quality of life is also important. Below, we share five things you may be forgetting to pay attention to on your house hunting journey, plus some things that are safe to overlook.
Things to pay attention to when shopping for a home
The bone’s of the home
Sometimes house hunting requires you to be a bit of a visionary, especially if you’re purchasing a fixer-upper. You have to be able to look past the home’s dated decor and old finishes and visualize its potential. That said, keep in mind that although you can make renovations galore, changing the home’s bones, size, layout, or square footage would require major and costly renovations. So ensure that you’re happy with the bones, the home’s overall layout, and the square footage before buying.
The natural lighting
It doesn’t matter how beautiful a home is or how many boxes it ticks off your dream house wish list, if there’s a lack of natural light flowing through it, you may end up feeling like you’re living in a cave. Natural light infuses the home with feel-good energy and makes it look so much nicer and bigger too. Once you’ve narrowed down your search, be sure to visit the house you’re planning to buy at different times of the day to see how much natural light the space gets.
Also, pay attention to how, where, and when the sun hits the home. Depending on its positioning, the sun may beam down on the house all day long, which will make it feel extra toasty during the summer. Or, vice versa, it may not get any direct sunlight and feel super cold during the winter. This may not be a deal-breaker for you, but it’s good to be aware of these details just in case.
The parking situation
Another thing that home buyers tend to overlook: parking. Does the home have a garage or a driveway? If so, how many cars can comfortably fit? The keyword is comfortably. It will quickly become a pain in the butt if you have to constantly try to squeeze your car in or have to maneuver it strategically just to get in or out. Also, think of visitor parking. Does the home have easy street parking access? What are the street parking regulations? Can visitors park overnight? If your family loves having people over, lack of parking may become an issue.
The neighborhood vibe
You can make all the tweaks you want to your new home, but you can’t change the neighborhood. Before you commit to a home, spend some time exploring the area to ensure that it fits your values and vibe. What are the neighbors like? Are there good school systems? What’s the crime rate? Does it feel safe and homey for you?
Look into the neighborhood’s different amenities available as well to see if they align with your lifestyle. We even recommend getting picky with the street that it’s on. For example, if you prefer a quiet ambiance, buying a home on a main street that’s constantly traffic-congested and noisy may not be the best fit.
Buying a home is as much of an emotional decision as it is a financial one. No matter what other people say or how good the deal is, pay attention to what your intuition tells you to help you decide what home to buy. Check in and assess how the home makes you feel. If something feels off about a house or you just don’t get that internal yes, don’t let your logical mind override that wisdom. Your intuition is your inner GPS that’s guiding you to your perfect home.
Things to ignore when shopping for a home
Yes, first impressions are everything, but as you’re hunting for your home, don’t judge a home by it’s cover. If you pull up to a house and you’re not immediately wowed, maybe you hate the paint color, or the landscaping hasn’t been tended to, give the home a chance. Exterior cosmetic changes are usually easy to make and inexpensive. Take in everything the house has to offer before you write it off your list.
The same goes for the interior as well. Whether you’re seeing the home owner’s dated furniture and ugly fixtures or professionally staged decor, don’t be put off by a home if you don’t dig the decor style. Remember that paint color, furniture, fixtures, appliances, and other decorative things can be easily adjusted to your liking. Also, if there is any clutter, disregard that as well as it will be emptied when the current owners move out.
Sometimes you’ll come across a home on the market that has a certain not-so-pleasant scent to it caused by pets or smoking. Ignore that as well. Smells are nothing a good deep cleaning can’t fix. That said, if the home’s smell is extremely offensive, that may be a sign of a deeper issue that could be a red flag.
Pressure from other people
Although most people mean well, you may receive unsolicited opinions or pressure from other people to choose a home quickly or one that they think is best. Ignore them. You and your family are the ones that are making the investment and will be living in the home. Your opinion is the only one that matters. If you need to take your time, do so. If your intuition tells you to choose one home over another, do that. It’s your home, your decision.