It can be easy to lose sight of your main priorities during the first walk through of a potential home. That 2 bed 1 bath house might be so beautiful you forget what you actually need: 4 beds and 3 baths! Since balancing the strategic and emotional aspects of real estate can be an overwhelming task—especially when viewing a home for the first time—I’ve come up with some useful points to keep in mind during an initial walk through. These will help you keep focused on what you truly want!
Size and Layout
Firstly, although it may sound obvious, you have to intentionally consider whether or not the space is large enough for your needs. Even if it’s your dream property in every other sense, you are bound to regret purchasing a home that is ultimately too small. Secondly, is the home laid out in a way that will work for your everyday needs? For example, if it’s important that your kids sleep on the same floor as you, does the floor plan allow for this?
Longevity and Upgrades
The property you’re looking at might work for you right now, but will it work for you years later? I always encourage my clients to think ahead to their future needs, and see if they match the property they’re considering. During an initial walk through, I also point out any obvious wear and tear; the quality of finishes such as painting and light fixtures; and any potential upgrades the house will need, as these improvements should be factored into the overall cost of the property. Upgrades to kitchens and roofs are common, for example, and the age of mechanicals such as furnaces and hot water tanks should be considered. I also like to educate my clients on less obvious aspects that might require future attention such as split face block on the exterior. Unlike brick, split face requires a maintenance program every 5 to 7 years.
Location, Location, Location
Finally, I always ask my clients if the location of the property will benefit their day-to-day lives. Are they happy with the exterior surroundings? If they have kids, is it close to good schools? Is proximity to public transit important to them? Obviously, the location of a home matters a great deal—in some cases, even as much as the home itself—so these are vital things to consider during an initial visit.