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Have you started your house hunting search in the St. Louis area? Buying a home can be very exciting and also a bit overwhelming. With so many different properties to choose from, the decision making process can be tough if you aren’t clear on your must-have priorities. It’s best to narrow down those factors that will seal the deal for you and your family so that you can share these with your realtor prior to the house hunt. Here are a few tips to get you started.
The phrase “it’s all about location” was created for a reason – after all, you can work with imperfections within the home and make changes to suit your needs, but with a neighborhood, however, not so much. When choosing a location, you want to consider a few factors: proximity to your work, neighborhood amenities such as restaurants, grocery stores, schools, and parks, access to freeways and thoroughfares, the crime rate, traffic, and the amount of noise the neighborhood generates. All of these factors can help you determine if the area is right for you and your lifestyle. Walk the neighborhoods, speak to the people that currently live there, and try to get a feel for what it would be like to live there. Once you’ve narrowed down the location, you’re ready to start the home search.
There are a few things to consider when viewing the exterior of a home. Obviously, a home with great curb appeal is going to catch your eye and increase the value, however, it’s important to look a little deeper. How close do you want to be to your neighbors? Do you want a home that’s on flat and usable land or are rolling hills or an embankment okay in your book? Do you prefer a brick exterior or siding? Do you need a fenced yard so your dogs can run and play without supervision? Are there any eyesores that can be viewed from your windows? Considering these factors is a great way to rule out any deal breakers ahead of time, in turn saving you and your agent precious time.
Beds and Baths
While you may have your heart set on a four bedroom house with four bathrooms, is that a wish list item or a must have item? If you have a family of four, would a two or three bathroom suffice? In stating that a four bedroom, four bath home is a must have, you may miss out on another property that would much better suit your wants and needs. You may find a three bedroom, three bath that has an amazing office space as well. Point being, you may not want to limit your options by setting strict parameters.
Kitchen and Living Areas
The kitchen is absolutely the heart of the home and most agents will tell you that when it comes to must haves, they are usually focused in the kitchen. In addition, a kitchen remodel is costly so it’s a good idea to stick to your guns when communicating your kitchen needs. Do you need a gas range, a kitchen island, a walk in pantry? Do you need a six burner stove and dual ovens? Do you want seating in your kitchen? Do you prefer to have an open concept in which your kitchen opens up to the living and dining areas? Consider your existing furniture, appliances, and electronics when making your list of must-haves as well – you should be aware of the wall space, counter space, and floor space that will be required to house your belongings.
While ample storage space is typically a must have, some people need more space than others. Consider the items that you need to store, whether it be in the garage, kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, or closets. If you have a multitude of bulky storage items such as camping or hockey gear, tools, holiday décor, etc., be sure to note that large storage areas are a definite must have. If you have a lot of clothing and shoes, a walk in closet may be on your list. If you are in the process of finding that inner chef, you may need ample space for kitchen gadgets, spices, and appliances. It’s best to be aware of your needs when determining the amount of storage you must have.
Now that you have all of your must-have elements in mind, finding the home of your dreams will be a much easier task. Enjoy the house hunt!