Post # 1
DH and I are in the process of purchasing our first home. It’s quite interesting what comes up as important and what ends up not really mattering.
DH and I are primarily concerned with:
1. Location (we want to live on the east/northern side of town)
2. Number of bedrooms/bathrooms (we are only considering homes with at least 3 beds and 2 baths)
3. Neighborhood/community (we want to live in a well maintained, safe area–where neighbors care for their homes, quiet street, homes are not too close to each other)
4. Backyard (we have two dogs, a functioning backyard is a must)
Of course other things matter, but these are our top priorities. For example, at this point, we don’t have children and won’t for at least 5-7 years. So school district is not our priority, though the parts of town we are looking have good schools.
What are you top 3-4 concerns when purchasing a home? (even if you haven’t bought, what would be your top 3-4?)
Post # 3
Obviously the area, the property size, and things that cannot be changed. We rent houses out and need to get bang for our buck. Otherwise, the bones of the house – meaning structure, wiring, plumbing, and essentially everything that is not cosmetic – is all that matters. The rest can be changed.
Post # 4
My priorities would be :
1. Location / neighborhood / privacy. I don’t want to live in the city, and I might consider the suburbs only if I can have a very quiet neighborhood and intimate, large backyard. This is a must. I also included with location : how far is it from my job and how much time will I have to spend on the road ? Basically, my top priority is related to life quality, because it’s what I’m purchasing, not just a house.
2. I want space especially in the kitchen, living room and master’s bedroom, but not an ”open-space” house. It’s the new trend right now building houses, and I guess it’s practical for family with kids because you can watch them from anywhere, but as I said : I’m looking for intimacy/privacy. I prefer when each room has its own space, and that I can close a door behind me if I want to.
3. At least 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
4. Price, but the possibility we could sell it fairly quickly in a few years will be a criteria for our first house. Because we do not expect the first house to be our dream house, and we might have to live in another area or province eventually because we’ll be starting our carreers, so I don’t want to be stuck with a house that will take over 1 year to sell. The market in my area (country) is very slow, many houses have been on the market ever since I moved here 1,5 year ago.
Post # 5
@MrsPanda99: Did you take the same approach for the home you live in?
We have a similar approach in terms of the look of the home. We are fine with updating and remodeling to an extent. We don’t want a run down, complete fixer upper, but we are fine with something that isn’t completed updated.
We are mostly trying to avoid fatal flaws in a home that you cannot change (like really bad neighborhood, power lines in the back yard, located near train tracks/airport, etc).
Size (square footage) is interesting because sometimes that layout is what really matters. We looked at some homes today that were 2,000 square feet, but the space was in the bathroom or in odd, nonfunctioning areas of the home. So the kitchen and some of the bedrooms were small. In contrast, we saw a 1,500 square foot home that had a great layout and felt more spacious.
Post # 6
We’re just starting to look at moving to a bigger place (yay!!!), and for us proximity to our jobs is huge. We can both walk now, and we want to at least be a short bus/train ride away. Neighborhood is also something we’re picky about.
We have to have something very new, preferably never lived in, and very modern with all the amenities and high-end finishes. We have no skills or desire to do renovations, and want something that’s move-in ready.
Post # 7
Mine were the top 5 you wrote.
I wanted the quiet suburbs. I wanted 2 full baths and would not consider a home with 1 shower. I love how I am near TONS of shopping! I refused to fix anything up, including painting. And I was NOT going over my budget, no matter what.
Post # 8
@oneofthesethings: Location/proxmity to work is a good thing! We don’t want to live more than 7-8 miles away from where we work (we work at the same place). I HATE driving and hate traffic even more.
So jealous you can walk to work. I used to live 1 mile from my previous job and loved walking/biking/running to work. Even if I drove, it was a ridiculously short drive. We currently live about 5 miles away (a 10 minute drive) and I don’t mind it, but I don’t want a 30+ minute commute.
Post # 9
You should definitely look in good school districts… for re-sale value. We did not have children until we had been married 8 years but we always bought in desirable school districts for the re-sale value.
Where in Colorado do you live? You can PM me, if you want. We live in the ‘burbs of Denver.
Post # 10
@bmo88: I like flipping houses so I am okay with buying a dump. We do the work ourselves for the most part, so we always make some decent money. The house we live in was custom built. I am far too picky to live in something that someone else designed 😛
Interesting that so many people said commute. I could care less. I want a sanctuary with lots of land, not a tiny piece of the suburbs where I look out the window and see my neighbours. The worst is a backyard beside someone else’s – no privacy at all!
I’m happy to commute for my piece of heaven. An hour commute with the train is pretty normal for folks who work in Toronto.
Post # 11
In order of importance:
Price. Our budget is our budget and nothing can change that. It controls all other decisions.
Location. We’ll be looking in the best areas that we can afford. This kind of goes with the neighborhood and school district quality ideas, but I lump all of that under one category.
Bones of the house. Small renovations related to aesthetics and things like enlarging windows are okay. (ETA: Actually this is preferable. Homes that haven’t been recently updated/renovated go for less, and usually the difference is greater than the cost of DIY. Then we get to make the house ours. Win-win!) If the overall layout of rooms is unacceptable or the house has serious repair issues, that’s a no. Unless it’s being sold at 50% of our budget or something and can be turned into our dream home, but that’s highly unlikely. Again, it goes back to price/budget.
Backyard. We don’t need a huge one, but we definitely want one with enough space to have a grill and patio eating space.
Post # 12
Not even close to house hunting but ours would be
1)choice location and ina good neighboorhoob(we already have a few dream neighboorhoods in mind but who knows)
2) needs a functional layout for entertaining and living ex open kitchen and 3 beds 2 baths without being too huge that its impossible to clean
3) at least a 1 car garage. We both ride motorcycles, my SO loves working on cars and we love the outdoors and have aton of outdoor gear, bikes, camping supplies, snowboards and skis, backpacking stuffs etc etc… And need a place for em
4) a large backyard is important- we plan on having a massive garden, dogs and spend almost all our time outdoors if its nice so we need somethjng semi private or at least with potential
Post # 13
Land. A house can be altered. We have 4 acres and to me it is not nearly enough. I can see neighbors and it upsets me. As long as the house is structurally sound, the plumbing and heat works, then I am happy enough with the house. To me, the land is everything.
Post # 14
@trueblue14: Interesting. Do you live in the suburbs or rural area now?
Post # 15
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
1. Location- Section of our county. Our half of the county automatically guaranteed a very safe area with amazing schools.
2. Neighborhood- Rural feel, not one of the newer McMansion developments.
3. Lot- We had a minimum acerage requirement, and wanted privacy and great views
4. Price- We had a max that we were not willing to go over because we wanted to be able to pay the mortgage on one salary, if necessary. Since our max was $100k under the average selling price in our half of the county, we were looking for a deal and had to be very patient for it. Our house has already appreciated 14% in 18 months of ownership.
5. Being in good structural shape- We didn’t want a house that needed a new roof instantly, had water damage, foundation damage, etc. Our home inspector said that our house was structurally sound. It did need a new HVAC system and water heater, plus additional insulation. We decided that those were not deal breakers because the systems worked and we could afford the changes within the first 2 years of ownership.
6. Had an attached master bath. I know this one is a bit quirky, but it really mattered to me. I refuse to share a bathroom with our son. haha
7. Had a large kitchen, We cook and bake a lot, so we wanted a space that was a good size. The finishes of the kitchen didn’t matter so much, as we could change them. I just didn’t want to have to add an addition to a house, because additions are so expensive.
Post # 16
@bmo88: I would call it rural suburbia. I used to live in the middle of the woods for 15 years and where we are now is WAY too civilized for my taste.