How to choose a House?

Here are some tips to help determine which house is best for you.

Once you've settled on a couple of preferred neighborhoods for your home search, it's time to pick out a few homes to view. Having a house features “wish list” keeps you focused on which features are most important to you.

When narrowing down your home search, consider the following:

  • know what types of home you want to buy
  • determine what age and condition of the house you want to buy
  • consider resale potential
  • use a features wish list to keep focused
  • use a home search comparison chart to keep organized
  • act decisively when you find the right home

Determine What Type of Home You Want to Buy

There are several types of houses: single-family homes, multiple-family homes, Detached house, Semi-Detached House, Attached or Row House or a Townhouse.

Single-family homes: This is a house that can be any type but that only houses one family.

Multiple-family homes: Some buyers, particularly first-timers, start with multiple-family dwellings, so they'll have rental income to help with their costs. Many mortgage plans can be used for buildings with up to four units, if the buyer intends to occupy one of them.

Detached House: This type of home is often the most preferred but is also the most expensive.  A detached house offers the advantage of not being attached to another home.  It keeps you totally in control of your home.

Semi-Detached House: This type of house is more common and there is usually more available.  One things to consider when looking at a semi-detached home is the construction of the house.  If the house is only Brick front that will mean that the dividing wall will more than likely not be Brick.  Most houses that are brick all the way around would more than likely have a brick wall separating the two houses.  This is always a good question to ask your home inspector.

Attached or Row House: This type of house is shares both sides of the house with another house.  There are some definite things to keep in mind when looking at these types of houses.  The biggest is that you will have to cart your gardening equipment through the house along with the weekly garbage pick up. Most people don't think of this when they are getting excited about their new potential home.

Townhouses: Townhouses are often either Semi-detached or Row house.

Decide What Age and Condition of Home You Want to Purchase

Weigh your needs, budget and personal tastes in deciding whether you want to buy a newly constructed home, an older home or a "fixer-upper" that requires some work.

Consider Resale Potential

As you look at homes, you may want to keep in mind these resale considerations.

  • Two-bedroom/one-bath single houses generally have less appeal than houses with three or more bedrooms, and therefore have less appreciation potential. This is a great opportunity for someone starting off with the outlook to moving up when finances permit.
  • Homes with "curb appeal," i.e., well-maintained, attractive and with a charming appearance from the street, are the easiest to resell.
  • The most expensive houses on the street, or ones with anything unusual or unique are not suited for resale. The best investment potential is traditionally found in a less expensive, more moderately sized home.

Use a Wish List to Keep Your Search Focused

Make a wish list to clarify which features are most and least important to you when looking for a home. Using this wish list will keep your house hunt focused and effective.

Use a Wish Use a Home Comparison Chart to Keep Your Observations OrganizedList to Keep Your Search Focused

While house hunting, it's a good idea to make notes about what you see because viewing several houses at a time can be confusing. Use a home comparison chart to help you keep track of your search, organize your thoughts and record your impressions.

Act Decisively When You Find the Right Home

Before you begin the home buying process, resolve to act promptly when you do find the right house. Every REALTOR® has stories to tell about a couple who looked far and wide for their dream home, finally found it, and then said, "We always promised my Dad we'd sleep on it, so we'll make an offer tomorrow." Many times the story had a sad ending - someone else came in that evening with an offer that was accepted.

Resolve that you will act decisively when you find the house that’s clearly right for you. This is particularly important after a long search or if the house is newly listed and/or underpriced.