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Advice

Touring homes is exciting, exhausting and it can be confusing trying to remember which homes had which features. By the end of the day, you can’t remember if the house with the fabulous kitchen had three bedrooms or four, or any other pertinent details.

That's why you need a Home Tour Checklist. The list we've provided below is a good starting point that you can use to create your own.  It may be surprising to first time home buyers that there are so many considerations, but trust us, this is a simple and short list that covers the primary considerations, not all of them. 

Remember, while you need to be aware of every detail in a home you are thinking of buying, you need to keep matters in perspective.  While you're looking at the features you want in a new home, be sure to step back and consider the bigger picture – the permanent attributes – of the house.  There may be a many elements in a house that you consider issues, but don't let a large number of small problems keep you from a house that would otherwise be a perfect fit.  Remember, you can change superficial elements like wallpaper, paint color and window treatments, and make minor repairs - just make sure they fit into your overall home buying budget.  

Take good notes - while viewing the home, not later - and you'll be better able to make the right decisions as you move forward in the home-buying process. Keep blank copies of lists handy, don't lose old ones, and be sure to share them with us.

The Home      
Square footage ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Number of bedrooms ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Number of baths ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Practicality of floor plan ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Condition of interior walls ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Closet/storage space ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Basement ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Fireplace ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Cable TV ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Basement: dampness/odors ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Exterior appearance/condition ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Lawn/yard space ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Fence ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Patio/deck ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Garage ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Energy efficiency ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Screens/storm windows ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Roof: age, condition ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Gutters/downspouts ____Good ____Average ____Poor
       
The Neighborhood      
Nearby homes/businesses ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Traffic ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Noise level ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Safety/security ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Age mix of inhabitants ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Number of children ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Pet restrictions ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Parking ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Zoning regulations ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Neighborhood restrictions/covenants ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Fire protection ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Police ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Snow removal ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Garbage service ____Good ____Average ____Poor
       
Schools      
Age/condition ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Reputation ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Quality of teachers ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Achievement test scores ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Play areas ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Curriculum ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Class size ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Busing distance ____Good ____Average ____Poor
       
Convenience to...      
Supermarket ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Schools ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Work ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Shopping ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Child care ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Hospitals ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Doctor/dentist ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Recreation/parks ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Church/synagogue ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Airport ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Highways ____Good ____Average ____Poor
Public Transportation ____Good ____Average ____Poor
       
Other important features:      
____________________ ____Good ____Average ____Poor
____________________ ____Good ____Average ____Poor
____________________ ____Good ____Average ____Poor
____________________ ____Good ____Average ____Poor
____________________ ____Good ____Average ____Poor
____________________ ____Good ____Average ____Poor
____________________ ____Good ____Average ____Poor