A few of the most common features that buyers look for when buying a house include the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, and whether or not the home has a garage. Then, there are the few important features that often get pushed to the bottom of the list. Don’t forget the following important features when choosing the right home for you and your family.
Many home buyers will walk through the interior of a potential house numerous times before deciding if it is the right home for them. Yet, very few will take a walk around the local neighborhood. When you buy a home, you are buying more than the four surrounding walls and everything in between them. You are also buying a section of a neighborhood. This is the same neighborhood where you will have your morning jog. It is the same neighborhood that your children will play in and make lifelong friends.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to evaluate a potential neighborhood. You can check past and current crime reports, which can give you insight into the overall safety of the neighborhood. It can also be useful to get out into the neighborhood. If you enjoy biking, bike the neighborhood. If you and your children enjoy going to the local park, spend an afternoon at the nearest park. You can also learn a lot about a neighborhood by speaking to neighbors.
A high walkability score might not apply to every home buyer, but it is an important one to consider in some areas. If you live in larger cities like New York or Toronto, a neighborhood with a high walkability score is crucial.
Get to know the local public transportation routes and how easy or difficult it will be to navigate them. Most cities are also assigned a walkability score which is based on the ease of navigating a city and its amenities on foot.
Your yard is an extension of your home. You will use your outdoor space to entertain, relax, and engage in hobbies like gardening. Although you can make outdoor improvements to the space after you move in, it is important to evaluate the potential.
Having a dream of a large outdoor entertainment area might not be possible if the backyard is too small. Alternatively, large yards require a lot of upkeep and maintenance. If you don’t want to bother with landscaping chores, a smaller yard might be better.
A lot of home buyers wait until they have moved in to find the nearest coffee shop or grocery store. Having access to the amenities that are the most important to you can really affect how happy you are with your current living situation.
Consider which amenities are the most important to you and then map them out. If you enjoy dining out, research what types of restaurants are available nearby. If you have a preferred grocery store, check the distance. While the lack of one or two important amenities might not stop you from purchasing a home, it is important to evaluate your overall accessibility to preferred amenities.
School ratings are an important feature to consider whether or not you have children. If you have children, you want to send them to a school that will give them the academic and life skills they need to be successful. If you don’t have children and never intend on having them, a nearby quality school is still important. Buying a home in an area with a good school can affect your home’s value and appeal to families when it comes time to sell.
It is important to consider more than the schools’ ratings. You can learn a lot about a school by taking a tour through the local school. Get to know the school personnel. Look at the after-school programs and activities the school offers. If possible, talk with other parents and consider their satisfaction with the school.
Living in a condominium community or homeowner’s association often comes with many useful amenities including a community pool, doorman, outdoor maintenance, etc. These shared amenities, however, come with an additional price. Most homeowner’s associations have rules and regulations that all members must follow. The association can dictate changes you make to your home, as well as parking requirements and landscaping additions.
If you are considering buying in a condo or homeowner’s association, you will want to evaluate the included amenities and then weigh them against the added costs. Also, get to know the specific homeowner’s rules to prevent any surprises later on.