New Year, New You, New Home?

Is it time for a big change?

Whether you’re moving for a new job or moving for a new perspective in life, getting a home that allows you to explore every inch of your potential is crucial. It may sound sappy, but bad living conditions can completely sink your ability to think, aspire, and plan for daily success.

To both avoid worst-case scenarios while enhancing the best you can be, here are a few critical points to consider when looking for a new home.

A Thorough Walkthrough Can Save Thousands

Are you in love with a certain façade? Did a few of the houses on your list have amazing layouts or the yard of your dreams?

Don’t let the nice features push your decision quite yet. Before making any offers, go out of your way to figure out what’s wrong with your favorite options.

This isn’t a “too good to be true” lesson. You may truly find the best home within your price range without building a new home, but what if there’s a grocery list of expensive repairs that drastically change the final cost?

Look for the biggest costs first. Search for a few of these warning areas:

  • Foundation problems. Does the home seem to be leaning just a bit? It might not be in your head; a sinking or poorly set foundation can throw off building alignment.

    Search for cracks in the walls and lower areas of the home. This includes the basement, crawlspaces, or any aboveground foundation supports that you can see. In addition to cracks and an uneven building, look for uneven door frames or flooring.

  • Plumbing. How well does the toilet flush? Do the sinks have sitting water when you leave them on for 2 or 3 minutes? Figuring out if your building has a clog or old, thin pipes can help you dodge major unplanned plumbing repairs.

    Leaks are another big issue and aren’t always obvious. You may notice humid or damp conditions in some areas or mold in others, but it’s better to bring in a plumber who can check for leaks.

  • Electrical wiring. Check every outlet and flip every switch. Make sure that all of the electrical outlets are working and listening to any popping that could indicate damaged or incorrectly routed wiring.

Some tests require higher electrical loads than a smartphone or television, and you may need to turn on multiple appliances in the kitchen to figure out if there’s bad wiring in the kitchen area walls. If in doubt, contact an electrician.

Do The Amenities And Neighborhoods Match Your Lifestyle?

The home itself isn’t the only font of personal growth. Are you moving near work, and is the building near work? Do you have children that need to be near a good school, or are you interested in going to a good university in your spare time?

First, think about what your home does for you. If you’re a gardener or want to grow your own fruits, veggies, and herbs, is there room for a garden?

If you need exercise, is there a room available for a gym? Do you have a solid foundation outside for fresh air workouts? Is there a pool on your property or in the general area?

Hobbyists need to consider having enough room for a workshop and local policies about noise. It’s better to move somewhere without potential noise complaints and eyesore battles depending on your hobbies. You don’t necessarily have to live in rural areas to be safe; finding a neighborhood of tinkerers near universities or industrial hubs can guide you in the right direction.

Knowing what your building area, neighborhood, city, and county has to offer can make or break a personal growth plan. If you’re looking at a few houses, it may be a good idea to explore the entire city starting with a few blocks and working out into a wider radius.

Does the nightlife work for you? If you’re a night shift worker or are productive at night, are there 24/7 stores and services than can match your lifestyle?

If you need to travel for work or love to be on the move, make sure you have multiple travel options. A decent distance from airports, train stations, bus stops, and even coastlines with serviceable travel piers can give your wanderlust the comfort it needs.

Of course, you need to weigh the noise of those travel options against the peace and quiet you need. If in doubt, contact a real estate agent to find homes for sale that meet your needs for happiness and prosperity.