In the hunt for the dream home, it’s easy fall for charming details and staged homes around Ann Arbor, MI. Some of them will even downplay flaws and distract you from what you should be looking at. When looking for a new home, consider these house hunting tips, so you don’t end up kicking yourself in the butt later on:
1. Establish Priorities
Talk with the family to establish the must-have features of your next home. It’s so easy to go off the rails if you see something that charms you, but if the home doesn’t meet the priorities on your list, you may regret the decision in the future. As you search for the home, it’s a good idea to take pictures of the landscaping or window treatments that sway you, and replicate them in the home that you choose at the end of your search.
2. Organize the Information
If you find a home you like, jot down the information. A spreadsheet or table in a word processing program makes it easy for you to organize it and sort it later, based on your priorities. You can even assign values and make financial calculations that will be useful when comparing the benefits of one property versus another.
3. Bring a Tape Measure
Oftentimes, home sellers will place smaller furniture in their home to showcase the “ample amount of space” you can have. However, measure the rooms that are critical for you, so you’ll know if your furniture will fit comfortably. The last thing you want is additional costs for new furniture.
4. Take Pictures and Videos
After a while, all homes seem to blend together, and by photo documenting your tours through homes, you’ll have a good reference to help you differentiate one from another. Be sure to ask the Realtor’s or homeowner’s permission first to lessen any misunderstandings. Plan beforehand how you plan to organize these visual tools, so that you can easily access a specific home later on.
Don’t skip looking in the kitchen and bathroom cabinets throughout the home. Once you move in, storage will be one of the most important issues you face. Wide open spaces in a home are visually appealing, but only if you have enough space to store items you don’t want to see.
5. Take Energy Efficiency into Account
It’s likely that the energy bills for a home are going to be one of your highest ongoing expenses. Inspect the attic for adequate insulation. Ask to see the utility bills for the last year and write down the brand and model numbers for the heating and cooling system if the seller or Realtor doesn’t know their ratings. You can research them online later to find their efficiency rating. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that heating and cooling consume about half of what you spend annually on your energy bills. Given the cold winters in Ann Arbor, heating costs may rival your house payments.
Buying a Home in Ann Arbor, MI
Although organizing and documenting do add some work to the home buying process, home buyers who follow pre-established guidelines usually have greater satisfaction with the decisions they make.