There’s a lot of first time homebuyer’s guides that describe getting pre approved, finding a realtor and looking for a house, but I haven’t found a lot of information on what can really help a first time homebuyer or any homebuyer for that matter, make a critical list of deciding factors to help narrow their search. This checklist is a great starting point when you are first considering a home. Start thinking about the neighborhood, your lifestyle, interior and exterior features. It’s helpful to use a ranking score to really get specific on what features matter most, and what features you are willing to sacrifice if you find the perfect home but it doesn’t have everything on your wish list.
While our market is hot right now, having a specific criteria of what you are looking for will expedite your search as well as will save time when viewing homes. Being prepared this way can help reduce buyer’s remorse, as you have spent some time thinking ahead of what is really most important for you in your purchase.
The list should be wants and needs to help your realtor find your dream home. Buying a house brings up many questions and ideas of what’s important.
Choosing a home isn’t just about selecting or building your dream house, it’s also about finding the right neighborhood for you.
Things to consider when choosing your neighborhood:
Do you want to be in a family neighborhood?
Do you want to be near a playground?
Do you want to be close to your child’s school?
Do you want to be near trails you can hike and bike?
Do you want to be close to public transportation?
Do you want entertainment within reach?
Do you have easy access to loved ones?
Location Considerations: Rate items from 1-10 with 10 being the most important.
____ Street Parking
____ Proximity to shopping amenities
____ Length of commute to/from work
____ Public Schools
____ Community Centers
____ Mature vs. Growth Area
____ Zoning, future possibilities for development
Which features do you want?
What do you want your new home to have? Create a list of needs and wants for your new home. Making your every wish come true begins with the knowing what you really want in your next home.
Here’s a list of questions to keep in mind when choosing your dream home:
Do you want to entertain in a spacious dining room?
Do you want to park in a two-car garage?
Do you want to relax in front of a fireplace?
Do you want a backyard where your children or dog can play?
Do you want little to no yard maintenance?
Do you want a spacious laundry room?
Do you have to have a workshop or RV parking?
Property considerations: Rate items from 1-10 with 10 being the most important.
____ Single-family home
____ Guest Parking
____ Energy efficient/utility costs
____ New Construction
____ Brick construction
____ Frame construction
____ Single floor or multi-level
____ Large lot or acerage
____ Recreation facilities in multi-unit condos
Which interior considerations are must have? Here is a list of interior considerations for your dream home.
Do you want to have a rancher style?
Do you want a multi storey house with the bedrooms upstairs or downstairs?
Do you want the main living level upstairs or downstairs?
Do spend a lot of time cooking? Is a large kitchen important?
Do you want a basement you can finish yourself or would prefer everything completed?
Do you need a lot of storage space?
Do you entertain a lot and need room for family and other guests?
____ Master Bedroom
____ Master bath/ensuite
____ Closet space
____ Basement – finished or unfinished
____ Eat-in Kitchen nook
____ Gourmet Kitchen
____ Pantry in kitchen
____ New appliances
____ Dining Area/ Room
____ Den/ Office
____ Media or family room
____ Wood Flooring
____ Whirlpool bath
____ Guest closet
____ Ceiling height
____ Thermal Windows
____ Central air
____ Forced air heat
Now that you’ve completed all preliminary steps on the home buying checklist, you’re ready to start searching. Make sure to print this out to start your search.