first time home buyers check list

(November 26, 2013 )

It’s important to do as much research when you can when you’re preparing to buy a home. And while it’s necessary to read up on everything you can before you begin searching, it’s also important to have a quick-to-access home buyer’s checklist. I’ve listed all of the key things you will want to look out for and ask about while you are house-hunting, so be sure to print this out or pull it up on your smart phone – to guarantee you cover everything you need to assure you find the perfect home!

Step One: The Home

Here is everything you will want to look over and ask about for each house that you look at:
  1. Square footage
  2. Number of bedrooms
  3. Number of full baths
  4. Number of half-baths
  5. Condition of walls (interior)
  6. Closet/storage space
  7. Kitchen storage space
  8. Basement – well kept? any strange odors? no mildrew or mold?
  9. Fireplace
  10. Cable TV/Internet
  11. Exterior appearance (condition of outdoor walls, overall appearance)
  12. Front and back lawn areas
  13. Deck/porch/patio?
  14. Fence
  15. Garage
  16. Windows/screens
  17. Age and condition of roof

Step Two: The Neighborhood

Here is everything you’ll want to ask about, look into, and research about the neighborhood you move into:
  1. Appearance/condition of neighboring homes
  2. Safety
  3. Noise level
  4. Traffic issues
  5. Kid-friendly? Average number of children per residence?
  6. Parking
  7. Police
  8. Fire Protection
  9. Pet restrictions
  10. Parks/recreational facilities
  11. Trash removal

Step Three: Schools

If you have children or are looking to start a family in the next few years, here are the things you’ll want to check for in relation to education:
  1. Age/condition of schools and buildings
  2. Reputation of school district
  3. Test scores of current students
  4. Quality of teachers and educators
  5. Private school locations (if you’d prefer private school)
  6. Play areas/playgrounds
  7. Class sizes
  8. Curriculum
  9. School safety

Step Four: Community

It’s important to live in an area where you not only love your house, but you feel at home in the community. Here are some things you’ll want to ask about:
  1. Schools
  2. Religious community centers (churches/synagogues/etc)
  3. Shopping centers/grocery stories
  4. Proximity to your place of employment
  5. Hospitals
  6. Doctor and dentist locations/quality
  7. Parks and recreation
  8. Restaurants
  9. Entertainment (movie theaters, shopping malls, etc)
  10. Airport
  11. Proximity to highways
  12. Public transportation – bus? metro?
By keeping this house-hunting checklist in mind, you should have a much easier time with the home buying process.