When you go to view a house you might potentially buy, you need to consider more than just the superficial look of it. Here are a couple of key items you should evaluate to determine if that house will fit your needs.
How do you get to the outside spaces? In particular, how do you access the backyard? If you don’t use your outside space very often, then access may not be an issue, but if you have pets or kids, you should consider how you get to the outdoor spaces you will use.
- Is there direct backyard access from inside the house?
- Can you supervise the outside space from inside?
- How quickly can you get from inside to outside?
Yard set-up and grade
View the yard with an eye to maintenance and usage.
- What will the yard be like to mow?
- Are there any features that will require regular maintenance?
- Is there storage space for items like lawnmowers and patio furniture?
- Is there space to make changes, like adding or expanding a deck or patio?
The driveway is a feature that most potential buyers neglect to evaluate, even though it is key to accessing your house. Some points to keep in mind are:
- Is it large enough to accommodate your vehicles and any extra items you’ll park, like a boat or RV?
- Is there room for visitor parking?
- Will you be able to easily and safely back in/out based on your parking preference?
- What will it be like to shovel? Is there space to put the snow, if there is accumulation?
The inside layout and floor plan should be a large factor in determining whether a house fits you. Imagine your furniture in the space, and then walk through the rooms to evaluate how the floor plan would affect your routines.
- Are there any sharp corners and narrow passages to navigate, or is there an easy, natural flow from one room to the next?
- How do you get from the driveway to the kitchen? Hauling groceries is a chore most people do frequently, and often while carrying heavy loads. Is that path short and easy to navigate?
- If you have pets that go outside, where are the access points that you’d visit most often?
- If you have children, where are their rooms in proximity to your room (important for reaching small children during the night) and the main living spaces (important for noise transmission with older children)?
Modern Electrical Set-up
Unless a house was built fairly recently, or has undergone a renovation, you will want to evaluate whether the electrical set-up will accommodate your devices.
- Are there enough wall plugs?
- Where are the cable outlets?
- Where does internet access come into the house?
- Where will any network cable reliant devices (modems, cable boxes, cable-based telephones) need to be located?
When buying a house, the number of factors you need to consider may seem overwhelming, but it’s important to consider what living in a house would be like. There are always items you can compromise on, but knowing what is most important to you, and ensuring you evaluate all potential houses using the same criteria is key to finding the perfect home for you.