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Home Shopping Checklist

Shopping for a new home can be a bewildering experience, especially if you look at a lot of properties. A simple home shopping checklist will help you to keep track of the pros and cons of each of the houses you view, and to remember key points about location, neighbourhood, asking price, and property taxes. You can create your own checklist, or you can go online and download one that’s already been created for you. If you make your own home shopping checklist, here are some useful pieces of information that it should include:

Exterior features:

  • Lot size and shape – Do you want a large lot, or something that’s smaller and easier to maintain?
  • Orientation – You might prefer to have morning sun streaming into your windows rather than late afternoon sun.
  • Fenced yard – If you have children or pets, or are planning a family, a fenced yard might be a necessity.
  • Location – Is it the nicest house on a bad street, or a fixer upper on a beautiful, desirable street?
  • Landscaping – Is the yard beautifully landscaped? Will it take a huge amount of work to maintain it?
  • Siding and roof – Make note of the condition because both are expensive items to replace.
  • Exterior damage – Look for obvious problems such as cracks in the foundation. Don’t be exhaustive because you should have the house inspected by a professional before you buy it anyway.

Interior features:

  • Doors and cupboards – Doors that don’t close properly could indicate that the house is settling and the walls aren’t straight.
  • Kitchen cupboards and appliances – Make note of the size and arrangement. Will the kitchen need a big (and expensive) renovation? Check the condition of the appliances and don’t forget to ask if they are included.
  • Bedrooms and closets – Are there enough and are they big enough? A lot of older homes have very small closets that can be full to bursting in no time.
  • Plumbing – If it’s grey plastic it may be difficult or expensive to get insurance and it could cost thousands to have it replaced.
  • Basement – Is there one and is it finished? 

When you’re house shopping you have a lot of things to remember. A simple home shopping checklist will help you to narrow down your choices to the ones that best suit your needs.

By Patrick Murray