House Hunting Checklist: What to look for when buying a home

 

Are you on the hunt for the perfect house? The Charlotte market is on fire and one of the top markets in the country. With interest rates still historically low, it’s the right time to find your new home. Here’s a handy checklist to help you with your house hunting:

Location

  1. Is the house located on a busy street or close to a busy highway? What about proximity to an airport?
  2. Are the other houses in the neighborhood well-kept?
  3. Is there parking available for you, your family and guests?
  4. What about nearby schools? Are they highly rated?
  5. Is the house conveniently located to grocery stores, shopping centers, restaurants, hospitals, etc.?
  6. What about development behind the house? Is the lot empty or adjacent to another nice neighborhood or street?

Plumbing and Electric

  1. Do all of the faucets, showers and toilets work properly?
  2. Are there any signs of past leaks or water damage on the walls, floors, ceilings or cabinets?
  3. Do all the light switches and electrical outlets work?
  4. Are the sinks, toilets, bathtubs and pipes in good condition?
  5. Is the electrical panel neat and labeled? Or in disarray?

Hint: If you’re working with a Realtor® or the Seller is represented by a Realtor® you will be provided a Seller’s Disclosure providing you with information about the house. Also, once the house is under contract, it’s a good idea to have the house inspected by a home inspector.

Layout

  1. How is the flow of the house? Open concept is trending right now. Make sure you’re comfortable with the layout of the dining room, living room, bedrooms, etc.
  2. Are the bedrooms located in a quiet, private area of the house?
  3. Is the laundry room conveniently located?
  4. Are there enough bathrooms to meet your family’s needs?
  5. Are the rooms, cabinets and closets big enough to fit your furniture and belongings?
  6. Are there enough rooms to accommodate your family?
  7. Is it easy to navigate from one room to another?

Appearance and Functionality

  1. Are there enough windows and natural light? Do all the windows work properly? What about skylights? These add a lot of great light but can sometimes leak.
  2. Are there chips, tears or stains in the flooring?
  3. What condition is the paint and/or wall paper and will it need to be repainted/replaced? If so, can you afford it or ask for a price change?
  4. Do you see scratches or other damage to cabinets, countertops, fixtures etc. throughout the house?
  5. Are the roof shingles intact? Ask the seller when the roof was installed or replaced.
  6. Are the appliances included? Do they work? (Again, a home inspector will help with this.)
  7. Do the heating and air conditioning systems work? If they do, how old are they?

All these factors make up a home that you will enjoy over time. Good luck with your home search!