It’s easy to get confused with all of the different options available when purchasing a home. If you don’t prepare ahead of time, you’ll easily get lost in the confusion of researching, viewing, and comparing homes. Use this handy guide to lead you to only the best properties for you and your family:
These four elements should be the basis of your home search:
- Type of home
Decide which types of homes you are willing to consider. Choices will vary, but most areas offer:
Consider the furthest you want to travel to school, work, or homes of nearby family members. If you don’t want more than a 15-minute commute, for example, filter out options beyond that area.
- Bedrooms & Bathrooms
Decide the minimum number of bedrooms and bathrooms you are willing to accept in a new home. Only view options that meet this minimum requirement.
Your budget is arguably the most important element of the essential home buying requirements. it doesn’t matter how perfect a particular home may be for you or your family if you can’t afford it. Knowing what you can spend, whether it’s cash or via financing, is a crucial piece of information that should be a huge determinant of what properties you view.
The following items are usually more flexible and therefore shouldn’t limit your home search unless there is unusually high inventory in your ideal location.
- Square footage
Exactly how much space do you want in your new home? Some people want nothing more than bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen, and some living space. Others want all of the bells and whistles, expanding out into dens, offices, nurseries, outdoor areas, ensuites, and more. Some prefer something in between. Differences in square footage make a huge difference in the price of a home.
- Age of property
The age of a property can become an essential feature if you need financing, as some lenders will not consider properties over a certain age. If you’re paying cash, you may still not want something too old, as costly repairs could be in your near future. Consider a home’s age along with price and repairs needed/coming up to determine if the home is a good deal.
- Outdoor space
Some home types offer lavish and spacious outdoor areas, while others will only offer limited access. If you love spending your evenings out in the backyard, avoid properties that don’t offer outdoor spaces.
Do you need parking? Depending on where you live, parking can be a big hassle, so be sure to ask about it for any property you view.
- Repairs needed
Again, some lenders will not consider a home that needs extensive repairs, but cash buyers, flippers, and investors may want to undertake a fixer-upper.
Homestyle is not the same as home type, but some styles are only available for certain types. Some home styles common here in Florida include:
- Coastal Contemporary
For some people, wall-to-wall carpet is the only way to live. For others, all hardwood floors give them that upscale feel. When purchasing a new home, consider not only the material of the flooring but also its condition and expected life expectancy.
- Updates & renovations
Are you dreaming of an updated kitchen, open floor plan, or other modern features? You may want to consider a more recently built home or even new construction, but some older properties will feature impressive renovations.
- Community amenities
Lastly, consider any amenities available within the local community that are accessible to you as a neighborhood resident. If the property is located within the jurisdiction of an HOA, consider the cost of membership (usually a monthly fee) against the provided amenities when viewing the home. Be sure to ask to see these amenities to be sure they’re in working order. Outside of an HOA, some neighborhoods have conveniently located stores, restaurants, and more. Always consider more than just what is located within the property’s boundary!
When you’re ready to search for a new home in Tampa Bay, the experts here at 360 Realty can help you find the perfect property that checks all the boxes on your list. Call us at (813) 938-6593 or contact us online to discuss your home buying needs with one of our experienced local agents, and turn your Gulf-coast living dreams into reality today!