Let's face it, searching for a home can be overwhelming! Between mountains of paperwork, tons of homes on vying for your attention, and a multitude of financing options unique to Southern Maryland, the prospect of finding the perfect home to suit your needs can be very challenging indeed!
The important thing to remember is this: When you're buying a home it can become easy to forget about some of the features you really need in a new home. Is storage space important to you? Your new home may have plenty of storage now, but will still have enough space for you in a few years? What about lighting and windows?
Items like these can cost big bucks to upgrade later, so you may want to pay more attention to those factors BEFORE you buy your home, rather than regret it later! Some other factors to think about:
- Think about the Floor Plan.
Unless you're handy, don't buy a house with the thought of "I can just move this wall later if I don't like it". Changing the floor plan of an existing structure can cost big bucks, and if you don't know what you're doing, you can easily be stuck halfway though a project you can't finish. Also, adding a wall down the road is a lot easier than removing one, so you may be best served by choosing a home with an open, flexible floor plan
- Avoid Older Homes
Do you know what the biggest difference between a home built today and a home built 30+ years ago is? Building Codes! It's easy to overlook things like electrical plugs, but outdated wiring in homes may have been run without ground wires, old plumbing may be decaying behind walls, and old frame structures may not have been built with treated lumber, inviting decay and infestation of bugs such as termites.
Because homes built in yesteryear weren't subject to the same building codes as today, you may find yourself bleeding money that wouldn't have been necessary if you had bought a newer home. In addition, older homes also tend to be less energy efficient, and you may be costing yourself more in the long run in order to save a few bucks today!
- Love the Location
Ask yourself this: Would you rather buy the worst looking home in a beautiful neighborhood or the best looking home in a marginal neighborhood? You can always renovate the house, but how do you make all of the neighbors look better too?
- Think about Your Lighting
Replacing lighting fixtures can be fairly inexpensive and easy, but adding more natural light can cost a small fortune. Look for homes that have large windows that let in the sun, and your entire outlook on your home will shine.
- There's Rarely Such a Thing as Too Much Storage
I can't emphasize this enough! The home you're buying may have enough space for storage today, but what about tomorrow? Home buyers frequently find that buying a home also creates a need for more "stuff", be it holiday lights, gardening/yard equipment, additional pantry space, linen storage, etc. To keep from struggling in the near future, you may want to buy a home that has more storage space than you actually need today.
The point is, buying a home is a major decision, and it's important to plan not just for today, but for tomorrow as well. Try to find a balance of what's most important to you know and what you think is going to be important to you 5 years from now. With that sort of mindset, you've got a much better chance of finding a home you can still love as time goes on!