Homeownership is one of the critical components of the American dream. In fact, 84% of Americans believe that owning a home is their topmost priority, and 39% plan to buy a property in the next five years. That said, the home buying process can be hectic, and it takes due diligence to get everything right and ask the right questions. As a potential homeowner, you should know what to look for in your new home so you can proceed smoothly from house hunting all through to filing paperwork.

To make your work even easier, we’ve rounded up the four most critical things you should add to your house viewing checklist. If you’re a first time homebuyer, don’t miss this list of tips to help you land your new home.

Check the Overall Condition of the House

When it comes to the condition of the house, there’s a lot to keep in mind. Just to make sure you aren’t overlooking the finer details, be keen to note down what you expect of your ideal home and list them down – from the kitchen, bathroom, basement, all through to the backyard.

For instance, the bathroom and kitchen are some of the most expensive areas to renovate, and you want to make sure you’re considerate of that before making up your mind. Similarly, be on the lookout for issues that might hurt your comfort or that don’t meet your expectations. Overly large windows or high ceiling rooms could be fun for some people and a deal-breaker for others. The flooring, roof type, backyard design, etc., all matters since, to some extent, they will define the quality of your life, i.e., if at all you decide to settle for that particular property.

Room Size & Interior Design

More often, people will focus more on the exterior of the property, such that once they proceed to the interior, they have somehow made up their minds. You may like the backyard, neighborhood, people living around, the serenity of the place, and everything on the outside, but moving inside, many things may be off your checklist. Failing to prioritize things like the room size, the interior design, etc., is a huge mistake as this could compromise your good judgment. A rule of thumb is to be specific about the ideal size of each room – from the kitchen, bathroom, to the bedroom. You should also consider if the interior design is perfect for you and whether renovating it later is an option.

Natural Lighting

If you have to switch on the lights during the day while you are inside the house, it’s a clear sign that the structure isn’t positioned to take advantage of the warm sun and cooling breezes. To be on the safer side, check where the house faces with the help of a compass direction.

Since the sun rises from the east, east-facing houses will often receive the most morning sun. The best entry for most homes is north-east, north-west, and east. However, in the northern hemisphere, windows facing south get the most sunlight since the sun shines from the south. Depending on where the house is located, you should be keen to make sure there’s enough natural lighting getting into the house.

Monthly Bills

You do not need to know how much the previous owner spent on shopping and weekend house parties, but you should be interested in knowing the utility and tax bills. Day-to-day expenses such as water, gas, and electricity will take a huge portion of your financials in the long run. Having a rough estimate of how much you will spend every month will help inform your buying decision.

Closing Comments

When it comes to house viewing, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Most home buyers will often take pictures during house viewing without actually taking part in the process. Prepare for a property viewing with a list of questions and interact with the real estate agent or the seller to understand important details that will influence your buying decision.

Another important consideration is to ask if the buildings in the area have any planning restrictions and whether the property you are about to buy is a listed or protected structure. Further details about the property, such as the plumbing, electrical, structural integrity, etc., will be best handled by qualified inspection personnel, and you don’t have to stress yourself about that. The above four factors aren’t the only things you should look out for, but they provide a good starting point for creating your personal property checklist to help you find the right home.