It’s common for people to make a list before going shopping for things such as groceries or items from a department store. Why not also make a list when you go shopping for a house? You might be charmed by a house and not realize that it’s not the best fit if there are things you forget to check. Make a homebuyer’s checklist of features that are important to you so that when viewing homes, you’ll be sure that the property is a good fit.

Check the Zoning Laws

If you plan to remodel the home you purchase, checking the zoning for the neighborhood should be on your homebuyer’s checklist. Depending on the area, you might be prevented from making additions to your home.

Zoning laws will also dictate if a home is strictly for family living or mixed-use property. If you are someone who runs a business from home or is planning on starting a business, it’s important to check the zoning for a residence.

Add Views to Your Homebuyer’s Checklist

While you may not be adding on to your property, your neighbors might make a change to theirs. Check zoning laws to see if neighbors can build additions like a second story, which might ruin your new home’s view. If there are any empty lots for purchase adjacent to the home you want to buy, ask if there are height restrictions for any structure that might be built there. Some buyers will purchase an adjacent empty lot if the cost is reasonable to protect the views and privacy of their new home.

Boat and Recreational Vehicle (RV) Parking

If you own large vehicles or anything on a trailer that you’ll store in your driveway or yard, put on your homebuyer’s checklist to see if there are any rules that restrict parking certain sizes and types of vehicles on residential property. If you are considering a home in a subdivision, there are often rules about extra vehicles on the property. Read a copy of any HOA guidelines before you make any purchasing decisions.

A Homebuyer’s Checklist Should Include Taxes

Potential buyers will make sure they can afford house payments without considering property taxes. Property taxes vary in every state, and some cities also tax property owners. It can be discouraging to discover an additional $5,000 or more must be paid each year in property taxes. Ask your lender to include the property taxes in your mortgage payment estimate to be sure the monthly amount is something you are able and willing to pay.

Buying a new home should be a rewarding experience, but overlooking the things on your homebuyer’s checklist may cause you to buy the wrong house. When you do your homework first, you’re less likely to be disappointed later.

Prudent Home Inspections offers inspections in the Washington DC area. If you’re buying an older home, contact us to request our services.