I’ve helped hundreds of people over the years to buy their dream homes. Over and over again, I share these tips with my clients here in Greenwich CT and internationally. Some of these tips are common sense, others may be new to you.
So here we go, my top ten tips for buying a home!
- Location. Location. Location. It’s an oldie but a goodie. You’re not going to change where your house sits – so make sure it’s what you want and WHERE you want. Is it near the schools that your children go to? Is it close to friends and family (if you want to be close to friends and family ;>). Is it not too close to a busy road or nestled in the community you want to be in?
- The orientation of the house. I’ve written an entire article on this topic – it’s something I never get tired of stressing to home buyers. If light is important to you, you should buy a home that faces south or southwest. This is where all your light will come from.
- Flow. How you move between rooms in your home is important – and not easy to change barring major construction. Think about how the rooms relate to each other.
- Does the price make sense? Buying a home can be a very emotional process. And choose the right home can be overwhelming AND exciting. How do you judge if the price makes sense? You might feel that you really want the home, no matter the price. What I like to do with all my clients is a comparative market analysis to make sure what they’re asking – and what you’re offering – is on target. I help clients to navigate the impulse and emotion of home buying.
- Is the home peaceful? A home that is relaxing and serene is so important for most of us. Life is stressful and busy – our homes should be comforting and peaceful. And peaceful doesn’t mean you have to live in a silent vacuum. It means that it is comfortable and soothing for you and your family. For example, a train might go by in the evening. You might love the sound of a distant train. Others might not.
- Go for the best possible kitchen. Sure, you can buy and then remodel your kitchen: people do it all the time, either immediately or down the road. A kitchen remodel is a significant expense. So search for your dream kitchen in your ideal location and get it right right away.
- Dream master suite. When buying a home, make sure the master bedroom and bathroom meet your needs. Like the kitchen, a master suite renovation is an investment. And where does it sit? At the front of the house or at the back? Next to the kitchen or upstairs away from all the other rooms? You’re best off finding your dream home with the right master suite and kitchen (a la tip 6). NOTE: Sometimes location (tip 1) trumps many of the other criteria. Don’t worry, I’ll help you work through all this.
- Hire a good inspector. Yes, the seller has the home inspected – but that inspector is working for the home owner. Hire a good inspector who you know is representing your needs. I can recommend several good inspectors here in Greenwich.
- No home is perfect. No matter your budget, your dream home will have a quirk or two. Honestly: It’s okay not to be perfect. Don’t let those little imperfections deter you if the house is meeting all your other criteria.
- Make sure you have an outstanding real estate agent and a lawyer representing your needs.