A house hunting checklist can help your experience go from information overload to informed decisions. Wherever you are in the house hunting process, having a checklist can help ease your stress in many ways.
Why is a Checklist Helpful?
When you’re touring properties that you’re interested in, there is a lot to take in. You’re taking it all in, getting ideas, and noticing things you may love or hate. While you should leave a lot of your worries to the home inspector, it can be a huge stress-reliever to know that you have a personalized checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything.
Don’t feel bad about asking any question you can think of. Buying a home is a major decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, so be sure to get the answers to any questions you may have and check the boxes on all of the things you want to look for.
What should I include in a house hunting checklist?
There are four essential parts to a house hunting checklist. You can add or remove sections and customize them any way you want. This is a general guide to help you focus on the important things during your home search.
The Big Picture
This section should cover all the basics, like list price, square feet, lot size or acreage, and the vital systems of the home (like HVAC). Most of this information will be included in the listing sheet for the property, but you’ll have to ask your REALTOR® (or do your own research) for information on neighborhood demographics and community data.
Only you can know what your neighborhood needs are. You may want to be in a certain school district, an area with a low crime rate, or an area close to hospitals & other amenities. It’s important to identify, research, and customize your list of community must-haves.
Section two of your checklist should consist of items to look for on the exterior of the home. A few examples of this are:
- Condition of the siding (or brick)
- Condition of the roof and/or gutter system
- Any areas on the property that can flood or hold water
Basically, this section can be labeled as the “curb appeal” of the home. But, for some with mobility issues or specific needs, exterior details can be deal-breakers.
This is an important section, as it can help you stay focused on the important things when you’re touring the home. You’ll want to take note of things like:
- The material & condition of the walls, ceilings, and floors
- The overall layout of the home – is it spacious and airy? Or is it cozy and warm? Is there enough space for you, your family, and your things?
- Broken light switches, dysfunctioning faucets, and other things of the sort.
This is where you can get as detailed as you want. You can make lists of specific things to look for from room-to-room. A good example of this is:
- Are the appliances old or new? Does each appliance function correctly?
- Is the cabinetry satisfactory, or is it something you’d want to change?
- Does the kitchen sink leak or need fixing?
- Are there any leaks in the bathrooms?
- Do they need to be updated overall?
- Is there damage to the flooring where water may have leaked previously?
- Are the bedrooms too big or too small?
- Is there enough closet space to accommodate all of the storage space you’d need?
- Living Room or Family Room
- Is there enough space to accommodate your family or needs for entertaining?
- Will the space accommodate the furniture you have in your current home or will you need to replace it?
That is just a general example, but here you can include anything you want. From general must-haves to potential deal-breakers, this is where your checklist really gets personalized to you.
What’s the next step?
After you’ve toured the properties you’re interested in, it’s time to reflect on what did or didn’t impress you about them. In a seller’s market, you may not have much time to do this before someone else makes an offer that gets accepted. Act fast if you’re ready to make an offer on a home that you love.
Team Melton is ready to help you with the home buying experience. Our team of professionals has over 50 combined years of real estate experience to assist you through every step of the process.