Courtesy of: Anytime Presentation

Everyone has their own wish list of the elements that make up an ideal property. Some features are must-haves; others are merely bonuses that boost a property's appeal. The problem is, with so many homes on the market, it's easy to get distracted by glossy features. What you really need to figure out is: does the location tick all the boxes? Does the property have good bones? Can you grow there, as a family, or will you have to move again in a few years' time?

Whether you're looking for a starter home, a family home or a holiday home, this comprehensive checklist can help you remember the things to consider when you start viewing potential homes.  

The Essentials

  • Do you have your mortgage loan approved? What is the maximum price you can afford?
  • How many bedrooms do you need?
  • How many bathrooms do you need?
  • Do you need parking provision? Garage, car-port or on-street parking?
  • Do you need garden space?
  • Do you need a house in near-perfect condition? How much time and/or money are you prepared to spend fixing problems, redecorating and so on?

The Neighborhood

  • Are the schools good, the crime rate low and the employment rate high? 
  • Is the public transport service adequate for your commute or other daily activity? Have you measured the distance to work and school? 
  • Does the neighborhood have adequate infrastructure such as shops, parks and medical centers?
  • Is the area on the way up or on the way down? 
  • Is the property in an area likely to hold resale value? Will the property benefit from capital growth?
  • Are there any big developments or new road construction planned that could alter the character of the neighborhood? You can find out this information from the city. 
  • Will you have problems with traffic or noise?
  • Are there any industries, airports or railways in the area that could create traffic, noise or pollution?
  • Will you enjoy living in the neighborhood?

The Details

  • Is the house structurally sound?
  • Are the exterior and interior finishes in good condition or do you have the budget to fix them up?
  • Are the rooms big enough?
  • Is the lot big enough?
  • Are you happy with the property's security?
  • Are the property's boundaries clearly demarcated and fenced?
  • Does the kitchen have sufficient cupboard space and food preparation space?
  • Is the property built for the climate? Is it insulated? Are there adequate heating and cooling systems?
  • Is the property suitable for your family, for example, children, seniors or pets?
  • Is the house suitable for your stage in life? Might you struggle with the stairs in a few years' time, or is the garden space too small?
  • For condominiums, are the communal spaces well maintained? Is there adequate parking?
  • How much property tax will you have to pay?
  • Does the entire property, including alterations, have the required building permits?
  • Are there any other long-term costs associated with the property, such as housing association fees or jointly-owned driveways?

Keep the checklist handy when you are searching for homes, and don't waste your time on properties that fall short of your requirements. Then, when you find a property that fits your requirements all you have to worry about is moving in.