HOUSE HUNTING CHECKLIST: WHAT TO-DO’S YOURS SHOULD INCLUDE
Hunting for your next home can be both thrilling and overwhelming. You’re bound to come across several properties that you think would be perfect for you and your family. Make your decision easier while avoiding a bad one by doing the following during your hunt:
- Make a must-have list
Before looking around, it’s important to nail down what you want in a home. Get the family together and make a list of features you desire, whether it’s a pool, big garage, or expansive back yard. Searching for homes while you have 3-5 things as top priority will help you stay focused on what you actually want to buy.
- Bring a pen and paper
Depending on how many houses you go out to look, remembering all the details can either be very easy or a challenge. To help you keep track of the small things, bring something to write with so you can jot down how much natural light there is in each room, the storage space, cost per square foot, etc. This will make all the difference when you’re still undecided and have a comparison checklist to help you.
- Walk through once, then a few times again.
It’s easy to get excited when exploring a gorgeous home for the first time. This is OK; house hunting should be enjoyable! But after you’ve taken in your first impression, we recommend going back out and walking through again. This time, take that pen and paper we mentioned in our last point and start inspecting the place for any details worth taking down.
- Don’t forget the camera
Or your smartphone, which is probably your go-to device for taking pictures. Once you’ve asked the realtor for permission, take out your phone/camera and snap all the photos you think you’ll need. These aren’t for posting on social media (you can get in trouble for doing that), they’re so you can keep a fresh idea of the home well after your memory has gone fuzzy. A video tour is also recommended.
- Try imagining yourself already living there.
While walking through the home, start envisioning how you and your family will utilize the space. Even if a room is set up as an office, use your imagination to see if it’d be a great place for your kids or guests. Imagining how your furniture will be arranged, especially if you bring measurements with you, can help you get an idea of how it compares to your current home in terms of space.
- Take the necessary peeks
Don’t be afraid to look where no one else does to really see what that particular home offers. Checking under rugs, for example, can reveal concealed damage that will cost you down the road. Open cupboards and closets while carefully inspecting windows, under the sink, the ceiling, etc. Finding one or more hidden issues can be the negative you needed to help you decide which house to consider purchasing.
- Visit the home later in the day
Open houses are generally done between morning and late afternoon. This gives you a good look at the property when it’s sunny out… but how are things at night? Coming back after sunset lets you get an impression of the neighborhood’s atmosphere. It’s in the evening when school is out and most people are off work that you’ll discover if the neighborhood is quiet, has a lot of young families with children playing outside, and other important factors.
Happy House Hunting!
Whether you live in a crowded city or a suburban neighborhood, dealing with small living spaces can be challenging. Luckily, there are tons of stylish solutions to even the smallest of rooms. Below are some great ways to maximize your space, proving bigger isn’t always better.
Mirror, Mirror On The Wall…Why Must This Room Be So Small?
Even in the tiniest of spaces, creative placement of furniture and home decor can completely transform a room–especially when it comes to mirrors. Mirrors are a great way to make rooms appear larger than they actually are. Choose a focal point in a room and be sure to angle any hanging mirrors towards it. Mirrors are especially helpful in enlarging rooms when placed by windows. The light bounces off the mirrors helping the room to appear brighter and have more depth.
It’s All About The Storage
When dealing with a small space, clutter is the enemy! Whether it’s your kitchen, living room or closet; even a few items out of place can make the room look like a total mess. While it may seem impossible, there are some incredible storage solutions out there to help maximize any extra space you have in your home. If your family room or den is cluttered with loose items like blankets, books or the kids’ toys, consider using multi-purpose furniture. Many ottomans and coffee tables open up into stylish storage bins making your stuff practically invisible.
Another great storage solution are unconventional shelves. Being that most corner areas aren’t utilized, they’re a great place to install small shelves. Corner shelves are great for storing books, movies or decorative items, and they don’t take up tons of precious wall space.
The Power of Color
If you’re planning on painting your small dining room a cool grey hue or a shade of deep blue, you may want to reconsider. Choosing darker hues can absorb light, making the room appear stuffy and small. However, choosing to adorn your walls with lighter colors has the opposite effect. Lighter shades are reflective and help rooms to appear brighter and more spacious.
Aside from choosing lighter colors for your walls, there are also ways to make a room appear larger with contrasting color. Painting any trim or crown moldings in a slightly lighter color than your walls can make rooms seem bigger and more inviting. And if you love bold colors, choosing one or two statement pieces like a turquoise lamp or an oversized orange candle can serve as great accent pieces.
Make the Most of Your Windows
When you are decorating your home, choosing window treatments can really determine the tone of a room–and the size. If you are putting up drapes over your windows, be sure to hang the curtain rod closer to the ceiling instead of the top of the window. This is a great eye trick that completely opens up your room and makes it appear a lot more spacious. Maximizing the use of any natural light is crucial to making your room appear larger. Try to avoid any heavy blinds or thick curtains and instead opt for some sheer drapes to let the light shine through.