What to look for when buying a house

Buying a house can seem like an impossibly daunting task, especially if you haven’t done it before. The idea is exciting: a new home! Somewhere to live and to grow. Somewhere beautiful, too, if you’re looking at real estate in Tampa. Each step—the search, the offer, and the closing—can come with its own issues and downfalls, and they all seem so far from the next step. If you’re starting the process, you might be a little confused, or even a bit stressed. Hopefully, we can help you narrow down some of the things you want to look for when buying a house in Tampa.

“Location, location, location” is a general real estate mantra. Of course, this makes sense since you’re looking for an attractive home with amazing features in a place that you love. When thinking about location, there are 6 things to keep in mind while you’re house hunting.

School Districts

If you have kids or plan to raise a family in the future, one of the first things you want to keep an eye on is the school districts. This has a clear purpose if you already have a family with children—it’s important to get them the best education you can. Even if you don’t have children, though, it’s smart to buy a house in an area with good schools. If you ever hope to have kids or if you ever hope to sell your house, this can really be a game-changer. It’s important to think about how you want your family to grow when looking at houses, both in square footage and in school zones.

And when it comes time to sell your home, this can be a major sell factor for them, even if it wasn’t one of your major concerns at the time. Because of this, we suggest keeping an eye on school zones whenever shopping for a home. 

Shopping Districts

This may seem like a no brainer, but being close to a solid shopping district can really change your quality of life. Having things like groceries, shopping, and entertainment nearby just makes everything easier, from running errands to enjoying a day off.

Some of the major types of shops to look for are grocery stores, gyms, or health studios (like yoga or spin classes), movie theaters, and department-style shops. Depending on your interests, you may want to look out for specialty stores like bookstores, electronics stores, or favorite hobby shops.

Ease of Commuting

If commuting is a major part of your day, make sure you have easy access to the various roads you use to get to work. For many homebuyers, lessening the commute to work, daycare, or school is a big plus. Spending less time in traffic means you have more time to do the things you love.

Closeness to the Beach

It’s something almost everyone wants, so it’s not likely something you’d forget, but don’t forget to check how close you are to a beach! Looking up the best beaches in the area and, again, the easiest ways to get there is one of the more relaxing parts of house hunting—though not quite as relaxing as going to the beach in person. If the beach doesn’t interest you, consider how close you’d like to be to other attractions, whether it’s a favorite fishing or boating spot, a popular theme park, or even friends and family.

The House Itself

When it comes to the house itself, there are the obvious factors to consider, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and the neighborhood. You may be a fan of open floor plans or distinct rooms. Or maybe you really want a pool. Some of these things can be changed after you’ve purchased a home, so consider whether they’re really deal-breakers. For example, you can always remodel to get a more open feel or put up a wall to create a distinct dining room.

A bigger factor when it comes to the house itself is the age of the home. Older homes come with more challenges. They may need new roofs and other repairs. Plus, things like plumbing and electrical work may no longer be up to code. If you want to do work on an older home to transform it into your dream home, keep in mind that you may face some challenges.

Alternatively, you can look for new construction or homes that have already been remodeled. There are some gorgeous move-in-ready homes in the area, as well as some that would benefit from a keen eye and some love.

A Quality Real Estate Agent

Buying a house can be exciting and fun, but the full nitty-gritty of it all can be stressful sometimes. With a great Realtor, you’ve got someone on your side who can help you sort out the details of what you want, compare it against what is available, and help you see how you can save while still finding the home of your dreams. You can focus on all the things that get you excited about buying a home without being bogged down by the what-ifs.

To this end, it’s important to narrow down what you want in a home and what you absolutely need in a home. Maybe an open floor plan and pool are things you dream of having for your little ones, but a good school district for your children may top that. Whether it’s an easy commute to work or a quick walk to the beach, a good Realtor can help you find everything you need with a good handful of what you want as well.