Nobody ever said it was going to be easy…
The more of these that you’ve considered, the easier it’s going to be for you to find your next home. Coming into the home buying process with “I’m looking for a 3 bedroom house for under $250,000” isn’t going to be very effective. If you know what you want, you’ve got a good chance at getting it.
You might want to have your spouse/partner/moneybags uncle who’s gifting the down payment and will want a say in what you buy each answer these questions separately. When you all sit down to compare your answers, the fun can really begin! But snarky comments aside, you’re going to want to know very clearly what everyone involved in the decision wants in a house.
- Which town(s)?
- School district(s)
- Neighborhood type—distance to town, country, views, level, etc.
- Amenities—town water and sewer, cable, high speed internet, etc.
Type of House
- Construction—wood frame, log home, manufactured,condo, etc.
- Condition—well-maintained, some deferred maintenance, fixer upper?
- Tool of Choice--Dumpster? Floor sander? Paint brush? Cocktails?
- Style—single family, multi-family, 1 story, 2 story, cape, colonial, raised ranch, manufactured, farmhouse, Victorian, yurt, etc.
- Garage—attached, detached, 1 car, 2 car, shop, heated, etc.
- Basement—finished, finishable, neither?
- Porch? Deck? Sunroom?
- Any special requirements for out buildings?
- Age—new, mid-century, older, very old?
The Big Questions
1. Dreams--Thinking about your current house or your friends' or relatives' houses...what are some features that you really want to have in your next property?
2. Nightmares--Are there any features that you definitely don't want to see in your next house?
3. Timeframe--When do you want to or need to get into your next home?
Features of the House
- Size—approximate square footage
- Lifestyle—what’s important to you? Entertaining guests, large bedrooms, separate spaces, etc.
- Kitchen—eat-in, updated, level of finish
- Dining Room—formal, informal, kitchen-dining combo
- Bedrooms—number, size, 1st floor needed, master suite, any special furniture needs
- Bathrooms—number of full, half, etc.
- Accessory Unit—in-law apartment
- Any special storage or closet needs? This is where "What about my looms?" comes into play.
- Laundry/mudroom—1st floor laundry needed?
- Heating System—oil, gas, wood, hot water, hot air, solar
- Electrical System—any special requirements?
- Plumbing—town water and sewer or well and septic tank?
Price Range—thinking about a down payment and a mortgage (are you pre-approved for a mortgage?)