It’s easy to get lost in the listings, especially as a first-time buyer.  This is why it is essential to create a wish list composed of every characteristic involved in a home and neighborhood.  With so many factors involved, you may ask yourself where to begin?  The best place to start is with the essentials. 

BACK TO BASICS

Home Type 

Will a condo or townhouse fit or will you need a detached house?  Establishing this will help you narrow your options and the neighborhoods that fit. 

Neighborhood 

When looking at neighborhoods there are many things to consider such as: 

  • Is there a Homeowner’s Association and what are the fees? 

  • How active and friendly is the community? 

  • What is the quality of the local schools? 

  • What are the restrictions in your neighborhood? 

Square Footage 

In addition to looking at the number of rooms and layout of the house, it is important to know how much space you have for each room (especially when it comes to determining furniture).  Even if a room has the number of bedrooms you need to give everyone their space, you still might not have enough space.  It is also important to figure out how the square footage is determined and what counts towards it.  For example, if a garage were included in a 2,000 square feet home, it would feel very different than a 2,000 square foot home with a garage not included in the measurement. 

Bedrooms and Bathrooms 

First, start off with the minimum amount of bedrooms.  Does everyone need their own room or can rooms be shared?  Also, is a home office or study needed?  Once the minimum is determined for bedrooms the same should be done for bathrooms.  This will give you your baseline so you can get more bedrooms and bathrooms than this but you know you cannot do less. 

Lot Footage 

When considering lot footage, first determine what type of lot.  Is it mostly wooded, grass, pond, or etc?  Then, estimate the amount of upkeep it will require.  Will you need to have it mowed once a week?  Are there shrubs and trees that need to be regularly trimmed?  These may seem like small factors but they do influence both the time and money that will go into your property. 

Other Considerations 

Proximity 

Always look at the surrounding area in which your property is located.  Are there train tracks or power lines nearby?  Is the nearest grocery store accessible, are schools nearby?  Think about what a normal weekday or weekend might look like and be realistic with the amount of driving you want to do. 

Garage/Parking Needs 

A garage is great for keeping your automobiles safe and for extra storage but might not always be necessary.  Decide if it is a must-have and if it is not look into carports or other forms of storage if needed. 

Extras 

In addition, what are the extras that you are seeking in a home?  These could include a pool, playground, an office area, and etc.  These extras should be considered when comparing properties and searching for the perfect home. 

To conclude, creating a home wish list can seem like a daunting task but when broken down into simple steps it becomes an attainable accomplishment.