I’m the first to admit that when we were house shopping for our first home I was a total novice and in way over my head. I knew the features in a house that we wanted, like number of bedrooms and location, but as we settled into our new home I was quickly faced with all of the things I wish I had considered.
Buying a home shouldn’t be a fast process. We probably moved a little quicker than we should have. We were excited and under a bit of a time crunch. Having said this we could have done more homework and research. We did find a great home that could potentially last us a number of years (with a few tweaks) but I can’t help but think we could have done better.
Image via James.Thompson
Things/Features I Wish I Had Considered When Home Shopping
The entryway of the house
This feature didn’t even cross my mind. I opened the door and walked through the house when viewing it without considering the entryway itself. We have a split level home with a non-existent entryway. Simple tasks like bringing groceries in are a pain in the butt. Now that we have a little one, it’s even more difficult. My next home will have a large enough entryway for a small closet and a place to put things down when walking in, out and through the home.
Proper storage in the house
I made sure the bedrooms had reasonable closets, a place for linens and basic home needs like dishes, coats, food. I figured our furnace room would be enough for ”everything else”. I seriously underestimated how much storage we actually need. What we really need is a garage or shed. A place to store totes full of camping gear, baby stuff as she grows and items such as lawn mower, rakes, brooms. If we stay in this house more than a few more years, finding more storage will be a necessity.
We lucked in with this, our land is pretty flat and our street is at the top of a hill which means we get pretty good overall drainage but this was not a conscious decision when we bought. Friends of ours bought a house on a street that is at the bottom of a huge hill, where last fall, when the gutters were blocked with leaves, more water than normal drained into their property causing a huge flood. This is why cleaning your gutters out is not a task you should view as trivial. Places like Total Roofing can explain the importance of this, more in depth than I can. Apparently this was a known issue in the neighborhood and a big reason behind the great price. The previous owners didn’t have an issue themselves so they had nothing to disclose upon sale. Both next door neighbors had floods at least once before though. I will be very mindful of the property itself when buying our next home in terms of drainage and maintenance.
(Note from Daisy: This is definitely something to consider if you want to keep your house an asset – if it was one already – instead of a liability!)
Neighborhood and location
Ok we did consider this but I wish we had done more homework. When looking at a home check it out at different times of the day. Any time we viewed the home it was during the day. We were so excited about how quite the area was. It was quiet because the kids were in school and everyone was at work! Had we checked out the area during different times we would have realized there are a ton of kids in the street every evening and almost always a huge pack of teenagers hanging out at the park at the end of the street. I don’t mind kids playing but the noise from the park drives me insane.
We’re also very close to an Airforce base. I knew it was close but I didn’t consider how much noise we would hear during helicopter training. Not so bad during the day, super annoying to have a flyover at 11pm at night with a baby in bed and an open window.
Another thing to check out when considering the location of your potential new home is security. If the house has a security system like Livewatch.com, regardless of the location, you will be able to enjoy far more peace of mind.
Buying your first home is a very exciting time. Make sure you’re able to keep your emotions in check and maintain your constructive criticisms when viewing homes. Though you will likely have to be flexible in your first home, don’t give up looking for the things that are really important to you and your family.
What features were you looking for in your home when you first bought it?
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