I find it amazing how many folks go to great lengths to avoid impulse shopping at the supermarket or even when purchasing something larger, such as a car, but think nothing of buying a house on impulse. Despite the wish lists they compile and despite swearing they must have this or that in their new home, some of my clients seem to settle on something that matches neither, because some other feature caught their eye.
When making your wish list of features you must have in a home, put the most important, non-negotiable items at the top, in big, bold letters, to remind yourself if you’re tempted to settle for something else while shopping for a home. I’ve put together a checklist of sorts to help you evaluate some of the more important elements of the interior of a home.
Now, some of these items may need to be adjusted, according to what’s on your list, so these are just ideas to hopefully guide you in the right direction.
- If appliances are included in the sale, we’ll want to find out their age and, if new, if there is a warranty. Go ahead and be nosy. . .open the refrigerator, look inside the oven. You may get an idea of how well the appliances have been maintained.
- How do the bathrooms suit your lifestyle? Is there enough storage? Are there adequate electrical outlets and is the lighting suitable for your needs? The latter can always be changed, but it’s good to know up front what might need fixing.
- Speaking of storage, are the closets big enough for you? What about the other storage areas in the home?
- Check the flooring carefully. Carpets can come apart at the seams, tile cracks and laminate warps. Does any of it need replacing?
- Imagine yourself working in the kitchen. Does the floor plan flow the way you need it too?
- Let’s check the age and condition of the HVAC system and the water heater.
- We checked the bathroom lighting – what about the lighting in the rest of the home? Will anything need to be updated or replaced?
- Telecommuters will want to ensure that there is not only enough space to comfortably work, but that there are enough electrical outlets and that you will have your digital needs met as well.
- If the homeowner performed any DIY improvements, it’s a good idea to take a look at them and to ask for receipts from any professionals that helped work on the home. We’ll have the home inspector double-check the work to ensure it’s up to code and functional.
As I said, this is just a quick overview. If you’d like a more in-depth checklist, print off this one from the HUD website. In fact, print off a couple of them so you can fill out one for each home you’re interested in. . .they will make handy reminders of each home’s features.