Pin Me

Buying a House: Your Checklist for the Second Visit

written by: Nadia Miller•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 7/28/2010

Knowing what to look for in a house you're considering purchasing is an important part of the home buying process. Making a checklist for the second visit will help ensure that all your needs are met.

  • slide 1 of 1

    Don't Overlook the Small Stuff...

    Buying a house is the biggest purchase most people will ever make. There are so many things to consider before signing the contract that it's easy to get overwhelmed, so it's important to know exactly what you're getting for the money and that your expections are being met. When seeing a house for the first time, it's easy to overlook important features or drawbacks.

    If a house is good enough to make the first cut, it's crucial to see it for what it really is on the second visit. When buying a house, checklist for second visit will help ensure that no flaw goes unnoticed. It will also help maintain objectivity in a situation that can be highly emotional.

    Here are some things to add to your "buying a house second visit" checklist:

    • Start from the curb and take a good look at the house and the neighboring houses. That house next door with the cracked driveway and overgrown yard may not seem that important now, but when it's your next door neighbor your feelings may change.
    • Take a good look at the cars parked on the street. Does there seem to be good parking? What are the conditions of the cars?
    • Does the neighborhood still have powerlines above ground and, if so, is this something you can live with? When the city decides to bury them, you will more than likely be in for a sizable assessment.
    • Once inside, study the walls and overall structure of the house. Is the drywall in good shape? What about the moldings or baseboards? Warps in any of these areas could mean water damage.
    • Open every closet and consider their size and placement. If you live in a colder climate, a coat closet is an important feature.
    • Bedroom closets can make or break your ability to stay organized. Consider whether you can get all your belongings into the spaces provided.
    • Look at the size and shapes of all the rooms. Can you envision your furniture in each? Do you know how you'll use each space?
    • Check out the windows in each room. Is the view from each acceptable? Are the windows placed in a way that make it difficult to arrange furniture in the room?
    • If you like to entertain, make sure that the house has a good flow and can accommodate the groups you're accustomed to entertaining.
    • Give a long hard look to each of the bathrooms. Are they big enough? If not, is there room to expand? Finishes are easy to change, but size may be an issue.
    • Assess the kitchen and its appliances. Were you counting on a gas stove? A gas line can probably be installed, but it may be costly.
    • Consider whether this house is big enough the way it is or if you might eventually want to expand. If you're the kind of person that likes to cutomize a house, make sure there is room to do it and that there aren't any city ordinances preventing it.

    Make sure that your checklist contains any deal breakers and stick to them. If you really want a pool, but the yard doesn't have one and doesn't have room to install one, move on. You won't be happy in the long run. At the same time, prioritize your buying a house checklist for second visit and determine where you're willing to compromise.

    No house will be perfect, so it's important to know what you can live with. Having realistic expectations and seeing a house for what it is prior to purchasing it will save money and frustration in the long run. Buying a house? A checklist for the second visit is a must-have. If you're ready to take on a house that needs work, know what efficient remodeling is all about. Once you have all the tools and knowledge, you'll be comfortable buying your home.