Process Street - House Hunting Checklist

House hunting can be a long and arduous process. It can also be exciting as you scope out your options for your new home!

The key to making the right decision is to employ those hours of home visits wisely. This Process Street house hunting checklist is designed to help you evaluate each home you visit as you're visiting it!

You can run this checklist in conjunction with the broader Process Street home buying process.

Go through each task one by one taking note of what score you give to the different categories by which you can compare and contrast potential houses. 

You can record the performance of each home by putting in a numbered score. Once you've reviewed the different homes you can click on the template overview tab to see a spreadsheet of all the results. 

This can help you pick out which homes performed best, even if it has been weeks since you last visited them.

Check out this video below for an example of assessing the neighborhood you'll me moving into. - What to Include on Your Neighbourhood Checklist

Before Visiting:

Research the reputation of the neighborhood

The neighborhood you choose to move to will have a large impact on your experiences in your new home. 

If you're raising small children, or plan to, you're likely considering somewhere suburban with lower crime rates and a safe reputation. 

If you're looking for somewhere to retire, you might be considering a quieter area with a large community of other people of a similar age. 

Or maybe you're looking for somewhere with hustle and bustle in the center of a city?

Think about how the local area fits your needs and record the score out of 10 below.

Assess the quality of the local schools

If you have children or are looking to have children, purchasing a home within a sought after catchment area is probably high on your list of priorities. 

Take the time to research the nearby schools and how they perform.

Record the local educational provision below in a score out of 10.

Check for nearby parks or open areas

Being around greenery and natural open spaces has a proven benefit to mental health.

Don't believe it? Check out this summary of existing research from the University of Washington!

If you have children, parks provide a great opportunity to play and socialise with other children. 

Record the score for nature below.

Investigate the nearby restaurant or bar scene

The local entertainment scene is an important consideration of any neighborhood. 

If you're in the centre of a big city, you may have a host of going out opportunities on your doorstep. 

If you're out in a rural area, you may have fewer trendy restaurants and bars but more hiking trails and outdoor sports opportunities. 

Record a score below for entertainment in the area.

Understand how walkable the area is

Getting around by car is great, but it's nice to be able to walk around your local area and stumble across things to do or places to see. 

If you're a dog owner, you'll spend many hours pacing these streets so consider how easy or enjoyable the area is to walk around. 

Record the score below.

Evaluate local transport connections

There a few considerations to make in regards to transport.

How far are you from work? Is this a long commute or a quick bike ride?

Are you near major train lines or close enough to airports?

Do you have metro or subway links local to you?

Record a score for transport below.

When Visiting:

Record your first impressions

This one's a hard one to quantify.

Sometimes you see a home and there's a spark - a little magic. 

This doesn't mean it's necessarily the home you'll want to buy in the end, but first impressions are important. 

Record below your first impression out of 10.

Evaluate the outdoor space

The immediate outdoor space is important to many people, and less so for others. 

Is there sufficient parking available? Can you get some gardening done at the front of the house? Does it look nice from the outside?

If you have more than one car then parking becomes a greater concern than for someone who bikes to work. Think how well the driveway accommodates for your needs and whether there's a garage available.

Record the score in the dropdown below.

Consider the size of the living space

You'll typically spend a lot of time in your house utilizing the living room or rooms, plus a dining room or conservatory if you have them.

Think about whether there is sufficient space for your needs, and whether the house has adequate space for a growing family. 

Moreover, assess whether your existing furniture would fit in the living space of the property. Maybe you have a monster sofa which you will want to move in. Is there enough space for these items?

It's a good idea to measure the dimensions of your existing furniture beforehand to check they'll it well.

Record the living space score below.

Assess the kitchen

A well-equipped kitchen is seen as a major selling point of a home.  

If you're a keen chef, you may be looking to spend considerable time in the kitchen and for it to have space for your countless appliances. 

Assess the kitchen for surface space, storage, and how easy it would be to clean. If there's already a large fridge-freezer in place, be sure to ask whether that will be included with the home or whether you'll have to provide your own. 

Record the score for the kitchen below.

Review the bedrooms

How many bedrooms do you need, and can you afford to have some spare?

Consider what your needs are in regards to bedrooms before you arrive. You might insist on having an en suite in your master bedroom, or you could be happy with it just being a place to lay your head. 

If you have children or are planning on starting a family, then think to the future about how many bedrooms you will want to have in 5 years time. 

Record the score below.

Judge the available bathrooms

For some people, one bathroom with the essentials is all they need. 

However, when it comes to bathrooms there is a range of choices available. Maybe you want a main bathroom upstairs with a smaller toilet space downstairs and an en suite in your room?

Depending on what you need, assess the number of bathrooms, how modern the plumbing is, what the showers are like, whether the bath is big enough, and how private the options are.

Record the bathroom score out of 10.

Review the storage space

As much as we try to regularly declutter, there will always be storage space needed in your home. 

Christmas decorations, garden tools, exercise equipment you promised yourself you would use again in future, your carefully acquired wine collection, etc.

The key areas where people normally store items are in their attics, basements, garages, and sheds/outhouses. 

Review the available storage space and whether it is sufficient for your needs. 

Record the score below. 

Evaluate the size of the garden

It might be a garden or might be a patio - it depends on the nature of the property you're viewing. 

If you are a keen gardener then having a large and workable garden is paramount. If you have young children then an expansive garden where they can play and tire themselves out is probably very high up on your priorities also

Evaluate the available garden space and whether it meets your needs.

Record the garden's score below.

Consider how well lit the house is

Natural light can lift your mood and large windows can create a sense of space in a home. 

If you value natural light very highly, you may be looking for somewhere with a conservatory or large bay windows. 

Think about how you'll live in the house on a day to day basis and whether the light situation will make you happy as you live there.

Record the light below.

Meet the neighbors

If you move into this house then the neighbors on either side could become a big part of your life. 

No one advocates judging a book by its cover, but it is important to meet your potential neighbors in advance to assess whether there could be any future problems living next to them.

Record a score below.

After the Visit:

Record an overall score

If you like this house then you can add it to your shortlist of key options. 

Once you have formulated your favorite options you can plan a second visit. 

On your second visit, you can go for a more in-depth analysis of what the home has to offer. 

This could include assessing the plumbing, looking for signs of damp, and investigating for vermin. 

On the second visit, your scope changes from measuring the positives to measuring the negatives. 

You can use the Process Street home inspection checklist for this visit.

After you're all complete and you've closed the deal on a new home, you can run our moving checklist to finish the job off.

Record your overall score for the property for a quick overview below.


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