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Determining the Must-Have Features of Your New Home

When purchasing a home it’s important to be as intentional as possible. Before you purchase a home – whether new or old – you should have a checklist of must-have features that fit your tastes and lifestyle. You probably won’t get all of the features you want, but you can prioritize them into features you can’t live without and those you can compromise on.

When your agent shows you a home, envision you and/or your family living there. Is there enough counter space in the kitchen to accommodate your cooking style? Try out everything – flush the toilet, turn on water in sinks and showers and check the electrical outlets. If there are many little problems in the home, there may be big ones that you’ll need to deal with on a daily basis.

Will your furniture fit in your new home and will the style of furniture you love fit into the style of home you’ve chosen? If you’re in love with sleek and modern, you probably don’t want to furnish a historical home from the 1800s.

For most home buyers the kitchen is an important area of the home where great memories are made when family and friends gather round. While a sleek, stainless- steel kitchen may look great – if you have small children, that spotless stainless steel refrigerator and sleek cleanliness won’t last long and could be a nightmare to keep up.

Also, determine if the house you love will need work to meet all your must-have desires. Before you sign on the dotted line of a fixer-upper, determine if the renovations are going to be worth your time and expense. If you’re planning to make significant improvements to the home that would put its value significantly higher than your neighbors, renovations may not be the best investment. Rethink the expensive renovations and consider less expensive ones. Kitchens are one area of the home that new homeowners might want to renovate. Keep in mind that if you only have one kitchen, trying to cook and eat around chaos might be difficult and test your patience.

Don’t forget to look for adequate storage areas when considering a home to buy. Although having enough storage is one reason that people want to move, it’s often forgotten in the excitement over other features that stand out.

Many home buyers can be swayed to buy because of a luxurious bathroom or the décor. Be sure you and your family will use the fancy Jacuzzi and that those silk drapes or custom blinds are included with the price of the home.

If you plan to be outdoors quite a bit around your new home, be sure the neighborhood is safe for walks and chatting with neighbors. Nearby groceries, schools, churches might be important to you, so be sure you’re not too far from the places you enjoy.

You can create your own feature checklist or download one of the many you can find online, but most importantly share your checklist with your Realtor®! You and your agent are a team and should be working together to find that perfect home for you and your family. Don’t try to memorize the list, simply carry it with you when touring homes. Keeping your checklist on your phone is a sure way to make sure it’s always with you.

Consistently referencing your checklist will keep you focused on the features that are really important to you and help avoid being swayed by other, glitzy but non-essential features.

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