What to look for when buying a house depends on each person's individual needs. While price is the biggest factor when most buyers look at houses, many other factors are at play as well. A specific number of bedrooms and bathrooms are a high-rated need, as well as the location of the home, the safety of the neighborhood, and the condition of the property. Other features buyers look for when buying a house include air conditioning, usable outdoor space, the quality of the school district, and the commute distance.

Factors to consider when buying a house

Wants and needs are two very different things when house shopping. Make sure you concentrate on your needs when looking for a house to buy. Minor cosmetic preferences can be easily adjusted later. Focus on the number of bedrooms, not the color of the bedrooms. Your budget is one of the largest factors when buying a house. Getting pre-approved by your lender or using a mortgage payment calculator can help you estimate your budget based on your income, debt and credit history, property taxes, and insurance rates. The second biggest factor to consider when buying a house is the location of the home. Do you need someplace close to work? A house with lots of property? Close to the school district you prefer? Is the neighborhood walkable and safe? The size and features of the home are also vital to consider. Is the home too big to maintain? Is your family growing? Do you need handicap-accessible entrances? An in-law suite? Make a list of your must-haves and keep it in front of you as you look for a house to buy.

looking at living room of a house

Features most buyers look for when buying a house:

Is the house move-in ready? Renovations can be harder than they first appear. Assessing the condition of the property is a key component to consider when buying a house. The age of the home is important. If the home happens to be older, then the condition or status of any renovations is key. Has it been well maintained? How old is the furnace or HVAC system? Is the home's electricity up to date? Are there any plumbing issues? How old is the roof? The last thing you need when buying a house is to be strapped with an unexpected, costly repair.

stop sign

Red Flags to look for

Do the neighbors take good care of their property? What is the crime rate? Are the floors of the house uneven? It could be a sign of a faulty foundation if they are. Forget about how the sellers have arranged their furniture, which will be removed before you move in. Instead, focus on whether you see any signs of mold in the kitchen cabinets or if the home's hot-water tank is more than 20 years old and needs to be replaced.

Things to look for before you pay for a home inspection

While a home inspection will tell you important factors about the condition and reliability of the house you are looking to buy, there are issues you can spot before you go through the trouble. Noticeable cracks in the foundation or water stains from a damaged roof can be things you can look for when buying a house before you pay for a home inspection.

home biuyer looking at garden area

Other things to look for when buying a house:

Picture yourself in the space. Does it have the potential for personal amenities? If gardening is important to you, make sure you have space to accommodate that. What will the commute to work or school be like? Does the home have ample parking? Does the floor plan fit your lifestyle? The space needs to function for you. Assess and optimize your needs as you look for the house you want to buy.