Understanding the type of home you would like to purchase along with the location and community services and amenities is an important first step. Some features may be “must haves” and others may be “desirable” but not essential. Before we get together for our initial consultation, here are a few items to consider to help you understand your “must haves” and “desirables” to prepare for our conversation:
- Describe the style of house you like: two-story, contemporary, ranch, colonial, etc.
- List your priorities in home features, such as a one, two- or three-car garage, gourmet kitchen, a family room, number of bedrooms, finished basement, size of yard, number of bathrooms.
- Think about your lifestyle. If you do not like yard work, consider condominiums, town houses or garden homes with smaller yards.
- Drive through and around the neighborhoods you are considering. Remember that home value is enhanced by other well-maintained properties. Conversely, be cautious of areas with unkempt yards and homes, and businesses mixed in with residences-unless a home/business combination is a priority.
- Talk to people who live in the neighborhood. They will share what they like and don’t like and the amenities that are close by.
- Pay attention to neighborhood zoning. Many residential communities are zoned to keep out commercial and industrial users. Ask about other regulations in the neighborhood, such as on- street parking. Find out if the community is governed by any covenants.
- List which community services are important to you. Do you need to be close to shopping, a school, certain highways or metro?
- Decide which imperfections you can live with, and which repairs you may be able to make yourself.