You’ve been scrolling through local listings for weeks… but that one. That listing is the one. The photos are stunning, the house has all the bedrooms and bathrooms you were hoping for, and even the location isn’t bad. You are excited. So excited. You call your agent, and they get a showing set up for you. You arrive to the showing, already planning how to arrange your furniture in the living room…
But what could you be missing?
When you’re so wrapped up in the excitement of “this could be it!” – it’s easy to lose sight of the important things you should be considering, and overlook potential issues. Of course, if you’re working with a good agent, that you trust, they should be able to help you keep these things in mind. But sometimes it’s good to just refresh your mind and ask yourself, what exactly am I looking for at this showing?
Obviously it’s important to watch for the basics – Do you see any cracks in the foundation or walls? Are there any obvious signs of mold? Do all of the lights work? Do the cabinets and drawers function? Are there any obvious broken items, like doors, light fixtures, windows, etc.? Is the fence sagging or broken anywhere? Is there moss or are there any missing shingles on the roof anywhere? But beyond these basics, what else should you be looking for or considering?
To help guide you in the right direction, I’ve collected a list of the most commonly overlooked or forgotten items to consider when viewing a home:
- Location – will you be willing to make this commute daily?
- Lot size and location. For example, is this a corner lot? How is the traffic at this corner? How much space is between you and your neighbor?
- Adequate Storage. Coat and/or linen closets, enough cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom, a utility/laundry room, garage, shed, bedroom closets… Does this home meet your personal storage needs?
- Room to Grow. Consider whether this home affords you the space to grow. Whether this means an extra room for a new addition to the family, a separate living space for a family member who may come live with you, or even a home office or home gym, try to think ahead to see if this home will still meet your needs in 5-7 years.
- The Neighborhood – Are you looking for an active neighborhood, where you get to know your neighbors? Have you looked at things such as crime rates for the area, or speed limits through the neighborhood?
- School Zoning. If this is a consideration for you, check into the local school zones to find out if the schools meet your family’s needs for academics, child care, extracurriculars, transportation, etc.
- HOAs/CC&Rs. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the HOA and CC&Rs of the property, as applicable, as there are often rules for maintaining your property, building restrictions, livestock/animal restrictions, information on the Board structure, dues assessments, and more.
Don’t put yourself in a position to end up with buyer’s remorse. If you think the home you are viewing is your dream home, make sure that it stays your dream home, by remembering these often overlooked features.