Top 5 things to look for when buying a house

Top 5 things to look for when buying a house

Buying a house is probably one of the most important decisions you make in your life.  What should you be looking for when you buy a house? Here are the Top 5 things to look for when buying a house.

What to Look for When Buying a House

Location, Location, Location

You’ve probably heard this before but the location of the house is the most important factor when buying a house. Remember the location of the house is permanent. You can always renovate or tear down the house but you can’t change the location.

So what is considered a desirable location? Many people like cul-de-sacs. That is generally more desirable over a house on a busy street. People also like homes with nice views. Waterfront homes are usually more expensive and coveted. Homes overlooking conservation areas are desirable because you know the land will not be developed and your view will be preserved. Depending on where you live, being close to downtown might be desirable or being close to the beach might be desirable.

So what is generally not desirable? Common sense tells you that being too close to railroad tracks or highways is not desirable. People don’t want to hear the noise from the train or see the highway. Other factors can be subjective. For example, if your backyard overlooks a school playground, that may or may not be desirable depending on whether or not you have kids at that school.

Layout of the House

Unless you are planning to tear down the house and rebuild from scratch, the layout of the house is important. Does the layout make sense or is it confusing? Are there enough bathrooms to the number of bedrooms? It is expensive to change the layout of a house.  Making cosmetic changes such as updating an existing room or bathroom is cheaper than changing the layout and adding brand new bathrooms or rooms.

The Land is Important

It is more desirable to have a house that sits on a level lot with a nice level backyard.  Of course, this is often not realistic in Westchester and Fairfield County where a lot of the land sits on hilly terrain.  Is there a creek at the back? If you have little children, this may be a consideration.  Is there enough parking in the driveway?  If you live on a busy street with no parking then having enough parking on the driveway is important.  Is there a backyard or is it so small that it is non-existent?  A house with no backyard may be harder to resell in the future.

Does the House get enough light?

Coming from New York, you know how important natural light is to your well being.  Everyone wants a house that is bright and airy.  Is your neighbor’s house blocking your home’s natural light?  Are there mature trees blocking natural sunlight to the house?  Trees are extremely expensive to cut.  Depending on the size of the tree, cutting a tree will cost at least $800 to a few thousand dollars.

Don’t buy the most expensive house on the street

You’ve heard this before but it’s true. You don’t want to buy the McMansion on a street lined with small ranches.

It’s easy to fall in love with a house but you need to think of the property resale value. You can’t go wrong if you follow our advice on what to look for when buying a house.

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