Top 10 Features

When you buy a house, it may be one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. That’s why it’s important to consider the following features when shopping around:

  1. Location – Make a list of what’s important to you. Some considerations will include proximity to your job, schools, freeway access and shopping. If you have kids, you’ll want to think consider nearby schools and parks. If you want to live in a particular neighborhood, make sure it and the surrounding community is attractive and well planned.
  2. Kitchen – This room is often the most important place in your home because people gather there for special occasions, family functions and everyday activities. You’ll want modern appliances, sleek countertops, durable cabinetry and adequate storage. Also look at how it flows with the surrounding rooms to make sure it facilitates interactions with loved ones and friends.
  3. Size and Space – There are many different home styles to choose from, so make sure you examine the floor plans to make sure it has all the rooms and space you’ll need.
  4. Safety – Ask your realtor about the proximity of police and fire stations, medical facilities and hospitals. Also, avoid high-crime areas and places that may expose you to potentially hazardous contaminants.
  5. Energy Efficiency – Modern appliances don’t hog energy like the older models do. Dual-paned windows are ideal because they’re attractive, easy to clean and provide excellent soundproofing. Make sure there are enough electrical outlets with sufficient amperage for your equipment. There should be sufficient insulation and ask about the heating system to determine the type, age, efficiency and monthly costs.
  6. Curb Appeal – The way your house appears from the outside can really add charm to the neighborhood, and raise the resale value of your property. Watch for key elements like gardens with flowerbeds and container plants, an attractive front door, stylish and adequate lighting, good walkways and freshly painted siding and trim.
  7. Structure – It’s a must to have the home’s structure inspected to ensure it’s sound, waterproof and fire-resistant. Make sure the floors feel level, the walls appear sound and smooth, and the carpentry work is well fitted and joined. Also, the foundation must be in good repair with no cracks, soft mortar or obvious holes.
  8. Closets and storage areas – These are essential in order to keep the home clean, safe and well organized. They should be built with high-quality materials. Have a clear picture of what is needed and why so you can be sure there will be nothing left lying around, creating obstacles and unsightly clutter. 
  9. Affordability – You definitely want to make sure that you know how much you can afford to spend. Depending on whom you ask, most financial advisors say your mortgage should not exceed 25 to 35% of your pretax income, but it is ultimately up to you to decide what is right for your circumstances.
  10. Outdoor Living Area – Remember that you can expand the enjoyment of your home by making sure there is adequate space beyond the four walls for an inviting outdoor living space. Features can include patios, porches, decks, a BBQ area, a play area and more.


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