When searching for a new home it’s very easy to fixate on one great feature of a unit and miss the deal breakers in the property. Therefore it is important to have a check list of features that must be noticed, so you can be sure to give each home you see a thorough evaluation and ultimately pick the one that is best for you.
Here are six features to consider in every home.
Location With one-way streets and dead-ends the city can be deceiving. Be well aware of the location of each property before you visit. If it is too cumbersome to go from the property to any amenity you frequent you may want to cross the property off the list before looking at it. Google street view is a great tool to get a sense of how much traffic is on the street and how dense parking is.
By A.A. Turner [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
This is often found on the listing sheet. Looking at the floorplan first will give you a sense of the layout so you will know if it flows in a manner suitable to your lifestyle. The floorplan will also list room sizes, so you can sketch out your furniture and decide if it will fit to your liking. Measure the rooms in your current unit to help get a sense of size. If you find something you don’t like in the layout or room sizes from looking at the floorplan you can cross that property off of your list, saving the time it would take to visit it in person.
By Knowledge Seeker [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Maybe being able to see most of the skyline or lake is not important to you. However, considering the close proximity in which everyone in downtown Chicago lives the view can easily be of a brick wall or someone else’s unit! Does the unit in which you are looking have any windows that will need to be shaded at all times lest your neighbor gets to know you better than you intend? Is there a possibility of this happening in the future? Look for vacant lots and surface parking lots nearby and ask your agent if there are plans to develop the land. If so look at the plans to determine if it will affect your decision.
Construction Be sure to hire an inspector for a thorough analysis of the home’s condition, but on first look keep an eye out for possible water damage, cracks in the walls or ceiling, turn on all the lights, and check the water pressure in the kitchen and bathrooms. Make a note of any red flags and ask for an explanation. In many cases the sellers will already be aware of the problem and ready to offer a solution.
Finishes Do the appliances and finishes, such as counter tops and floors, have a lot of life in them? Are they of a quality that you are comfortable with? If not are you willing to replace them? Will you be able to replace them immediately or will you have to live with them for awhile? What is your comfort level?
Storage Is there enough storage for you? Consider items you store seasonally as well as items you use on a regular basis. Is there enough room in the pantry for the amount of food you like to store? Is there enough closet space? If the closet is not organized is this something you would do and if so will your clothes fit well?
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