With the multitude of houses on the market today, narrowing your search by
specifying your wants and needs is beneficial. So prior to looking, ask yourself
these two questions:
1. What kind of home do I want?
You should make three lists: A dream list, a need list and a do-not-want
list. Factor in your current housing needs, likes and dislikes and what you may
foresee in the future, such as children, schooling, aging parents.
For the dream list, jot down all of the features you would love to have in
your home. It might include the following:
The need list should be the features you know you must have. This list might
The do-not-want list should include everything you won't be able to live with
in your home. This list might include:
2. Where do I want to live?
Look at the surrounding houses in the neighborhood. Are the homes and yards well
kept? The condition of these homes will affect the value of the home you buy.
Explore the lot thoroughly. Does it offer adequate privacy? Will you maintain
the ground or hire someone? Do you like the landscaping or would you design your
What kind of area is it in? How close are shopping facilities, banks,
churches, hospitals, schools, parks, movie theatres?
Before you make a decision on a particular home, reject locations where
negative conditions outweigh the positives. Consider:
Go to the police station and ask for records of robberies, break-ins,
vandalism, assaults and drug-related problems in the neighborhood. Is crime
increasing or decreasing?
Heavy traffic produces noise and air pollution. Pay attention to traffic and
When looking into the back yard, are you greeted with the sight of a
transformer, radio broadcasting tower, gas station, bus stop or ball field
where night games are played?
Slope and the soil's ability to absorb water determine where and how fast
water drains away from the house.