The search for finding your new home is certainly an exciting one! It’s important to distinguish what features are a must for your new home, as well as the ones that you could live without. This ensures you can look at your price point and know exactly how to spread your finances whether that be adding in a swimming pool, or simply redoing all of the cabinetry.

1. Garage

Whether you would consider yourself a car enthusiast or not, having a garage is truly a great feature to any home. Not only does a garage give your car added safety, but it also adds much more space for you to use. A garage can house garden tools, outdoor gear, secondary freezers, and allow for overall more storage.

2. Extra Bedrooms

Regardless of where you may be in your current lifestyle, it’s important to think long term especially when it’s regarding purchasing a home, as your lifestyle will inevitably change. One way to ensure you can accommodate these changes would be to have an extra bedroom (or two!). Although you’re not at the point where you are ready to have children, a few years from now that can change. In which case having a room that could be turned into a nursery is essential. It never hurts to have extra rooms because they allow for added space to place belongings, as well as giving you the opportunity to let relatives or friends stay over if needed. No one likes a pullout couch!

3. Backyard

A backyard is a well sought amenity and for good reason. Finding a home that includes a backyard opens up a wide variety of doors! Whether that includes BBQ’S with your neighbours, maintaining a beautiful garden to satisfy that green thumb of yours, or a safe place where your children can run around freely, it is surely a desirable feature to any home.

4. Finish & Materials

Once you have your price range determined, the next step is to know what finishes and materials are to be expected in this price point. Less expensive homes will use cheaper materials such as vinyl flooring, lower end carpet and plastic laminate counters throughout the kitchen and bathrooms. While higher end homes may use more durable, visually appealing flooring such as tile or wood.

5. Kitchen Appliances

A large expense to a home are the appliances, specifically regarding the kitchen. The upkeep, care, age and condition of the appliances in the home will have an immense impact on you. Whether that be needing to purchase new ones, or if they are in current working condition, determining when they will need to be serviced. Take full advantage and look extensively at the appliances to get an idea of what you would be working with.

6. Ceiling

Looking through a new home can be exciting as there are so many things to look at! But don’t forget to look up and see the current condition of the ceiling. Paying close attention to the ceiling is a simple way to determine if there has been any previous harm. Look out for water spots that can show from old leaks and cracks from structural damage, as well as any cracks in the drywall, wall surfaces, and where the actual ceiling meets the wall for any other warning signs.

7. Neighbourhood

Although the house is clearly important, the location is a huge factor to take into account when looking for a home. Set aside time to research nearby schools, stores, restaurants, transportation options as well as the overall feel of the neighbourhood. You should be comfortable with not only your home, but the community you’re surrounded by.

8. Main Systems

The main systems that run throughout the house can be costly if not properly maintained and checked regularly. Looking at the heating, hot water heater, and air conditioning unit should be high on your list when determining whether or not a certain home meets your needs.

9. Added Features

In regards to resale homes, homeowners will have already upgraded the home in certain ways. Whether they added a swimming pool, a deck in the backyard, or built in cabinets throughout the home. The majority of homeowners will include what upgrades they have put into the house, as well as the approximate cost. This information will be useful to you when comparing properties in similar neighborhoods and cities.

10. Paper Trail

Getting a hold of a paper trail to a home can be a valuable asset to help determine whether or not that home is a smart investment. If the current homeowner is unable to tell you what company upgraded it and when, that is a cause for concern and may be a sign to move on to another house. This is even more beneficial when buying a resale home, accumulating a list of receipts of repairs, upgrades, and services that may have been added to the home over the years will give you a better understanding of the overall upkeep of the home. Like most things in life, the more informed you are the better.

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