Stay at Home Moms

buying houses

DH and I would like to buy a new home someday in the next few years, but have quite a few things to take care of before we can.

While we are putting away some money each month, we will still have to rely on our current home for selling for a bit more than it would right now. Meaning we have to do some work, some upgrading, etc. The biggest thing is finishing our backyard, it is mostly sloped, so we are planning on filling it and making it more useable. 

My question.. besides something like a nice backyard, what are some of the most important things you look for in buying a home. If there was one thing you'd want already updated what would it be?

Basically, where should we really focus our efforts? We did completely remodel our main bathroom (we don't have a master bath) this winter and have one last room to pull up carpet and refinish the hardwood.

Quinton  06.25.10
Wren  01.13.11

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Re: buying houses

  • Kitchens are pretty important to me.
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  • Kitchens and bathrooms I think most people feel are key. Nice hardwood or clean carpets. No wallpaper or at least an updated look. Nuetral walls. If you go to upgrade things think of what most people would like rather than your specific taste.
  • The kitchen and bathrooms were what always caught my eye.

    I wouldn't spend a lot on the yard unless it is in bad condition or really outdated now. I think the yard is one area where you can get by being a minimalist as long as what you have is well cared for flower beds weeded and mulched, plants trimmed, grass cut and trimmed, plants and grass look healthy....
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  • Consider your neighbourhood. Who lives there? Young families? You'll want you make sure the potential for raising kids in your house is clear. Mostly retirees? Make the potential for a craft room or den clear.

    Kitchen, bath, and ample storage I'd say are most important. Of course if there any plumbing, electric, roof, foundation, etc I'd make sure you get that done.
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  • Most people care about kitchens and baths, as well as storage and useable space.

    For us, we looked at all the stuff you can't change: school district, neighborhood, floor plan, lot size, attached garage, basement space. We prefer to do our own remodels so we can pick our own finishes. In the new house so far, we've done the kitchen and eating area, the main bath upstairs, all the windows and a patio door, plus the air, furnace, and sump. This summer we're doing the downstairs bath, the entry flooring, and front doors.

    Personally, it would have been nice to have the non fun projects, like a roof, done for us.

  • Having a bonus room, either for a play room now or office later, is important to me. I like a big front porch and also a mud room and plenty of closet space. 
  • If you can level the yard for a reasonable price, then I think it's worth it. 

    Get a color consultant to come in and give you a modern, neutral palette for you house, and then give it all a fresh coat of paint - one of the easiest updates you can do. It sounds like you're working on hardwood, and that's awesome! 

    A nice kitchen is #1 usually, so upgrading yours if it needs it would be key. The master bedroom is also pretty important, as well as bathrooms. You could look into installing board and batten in some hallways/rooms or crown moulding. Also, newish windows/roof are at the top of my list, as is an efficient and fairly new heating/cooling system. Since we're on septic, a newer tank is also key. 

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  • We are under contract now. Our main things were kitchen, master bed and bath, and storage.
  • I have always heard kitchens and bathrooms sell houses.

    We are in the early stages of buying our first house and a nice kitchen is my top priority after location.  Other things I care about but not as important:Nice bathrooms, decent yard, basement or garage and practical updates like new roof, siding, windows, furnace, etc....

    I couldn't care less about paint or flooring because I know we will update that prior to moving. 

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  • The kitchen is the number one thing I look at in a house. I will not move into a house that is priced similar to others without a nice kitchen. Meaning, if I'm getting a deal, maybe but if it's full price the kitchen has to be move in ready. The backyard doesn't matter a bit to me. I would also like the paint to be nice neutral colors. 
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  • Kitchen and bathrooms are what catch my eye first. Clean, decluttered, neutral colors and up to date. I also like when there is a finished basement or extra bonus room/playroom/office type of area.

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  • New or newer: roof, windows, furnace, water heater.  Appliances that were of this generation and working. No issues like mold, seepage, smells, leaks, etc. 

    We were shopping in the lower bracket in a high COLA area, so we weren't focused on granite or stainless. Still, we did need functional kitchen and bathrooms. 

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  • I agree with kitchens and bathrooms.  Even something as simple as new backsplash and a new countertop  can go a long way.  My mom just remodeled her kitchen.  She painted the cabinets white, got new hardware, a really nice backsplash and a new countertop.  I can't believe how different ( and much better ) the whole kitchen looks.  It truly was amazing. 

    I also wanted to add curb appeal.  This doesn't have to be much, but I would make sure trim is painted, get some nice hanging baskets or potted plants and trim up trees so you can see the house. 

  • Our house is for sale right now.  We remodeled our kitchen two years ago and updated the paint a few months ago.  Our relator came through the house and checked out things we should fix up before we listed it and told us what not to do because it wouldn't get us any money.  She said kitchens and bathrooms are what people look for because they are the most expensive to update.  I suggest having a relator come in a look through your house.  They can suggest what they think would get you the most money in the end. 
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  • 1. Kitchens and bathrooms - they are also the most expensive to update

    2. Painted walls, no wallpaper. I had always heard to keep the walls a neutral color, but that doesn't really bother me. However, wallpaper on the walls makes the whole house look dated.  I would also paint the moldings white.

    3. When I looked at houses, I also looked for a newer roof, windows, and furnace. 

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  • Kitchen and bathroom newly upgraded/taken care of, and a fresh coat of paint goes a long way!
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