Home Buying Wish List Part 2: Features of Columbus Condos and Houses
While each home will have a kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms, the number of features that differ from home to home is staggering. Once you’ve narrowed down the location and style of home you want, you need to start selecting specific features. Here’s the last of our 3-part series to help you do just that…
Square footage. While larger Columbus OH homes for sale tend to be costlier, their actual cost per square foot is often less than for smaller homes. The important question, though, is what’s the layout like? Bigger isn’t always better! A large home with many small rooms and narrow hallways may feel much more confined than a smaller home with an open layout and lots of natural light streaming in.
Bedrooms. Most buyers want at least three bedrooms, but Columbus condos and homes with two might work better for retired couples, while homes with four or more might be necessary for larger families.
Bathrooms. Most people want at least two full bathrooms in their house. If you are particularly interested in a home but it has only one bathroom, look to see if it’s possible to easily add a second bathroom.
Extra rooms. Some houses have dens or family rooms; others have exercise rooms or basements. Extra space is great if you have hobbies or a home office.
Flooring. Hardwood floors are highly valued now, although twenty years ago, wall-to-wall carpeting was the preference. Kitchens and bathrooms are often tiled today, which makes clean up of any spills very easy. What condition are the floors in? Remember that old carpeting is easy to replace.
Roof. Most homes today are covered in asphalt shingles which have to be replaced every 15-20 years. Slate roofs are much longer lasting, but more expensive to repair. Metal roofs are long lasting, too, but their initial cost is higher.
Utilities. Some Columbus houses are on well water, which means you don’t pay anything for your water usage. Other homes use city water, which you have to pay for every three months. In a city, you also have to pay a sewer bill. Columbus houses can be heated by natural gas, oil, propane, electricity or wood, and each type of fuel has its own costs and heating characteristics. Larger and older homes cost more to heat, unless significant energy efficiencies have been installed. Newer houses, generally speaking, have better insulation.
Mechanicals. A home with newer fixtures (furnace, A/C, water heater, etc.) will tend to be valued more highly, as will older homes with upgraded electrical service. In warmer climates, central air conditioning is a must.
Garage. Homes with attached garages are typically more desirable than homes with separate garages. Some homes don’t have a garage at all or simply have a carport, and these houses are usually less expensive. Larger properties often have two-story garages, where the second floor is additional living or studio space.
Yard. How big is the yard space around the house? Will it be sufficient to place play equipment if you have children, or is there enough area for a pool or vegetable garden? Consider how much time you have to mow and maintain the yard.
Outbuildings. Some properties come with barns or sheds. If you do a lot of gardening, having a storage place for your tools and riding mower is useful.
Porches, Decks and Patios. People are more and more conscious of outdoor living spaces. A screened-in porch or a deck can be a great feature if you wish to spend a lot of time outdoors. Sitting on a brick patio with a fire pit is a wonderful way to spend a cool summer evening.
Fences. Poet Robert Frost said, “Good walls make good neighbors.” A fence can help define property lines, but also can add a sense of security. Fences keep strangers and stray animals out, but also keep your young children and pets in. Fences also offer different degrees of privacy.
General condition. Homes that are in “move-in” condition are very appealing to most home buyers. But great bargains can be found with homes that are in need of repair.
Other features. Some homes have skylights, a pool or a hot tub. Still others have a fireplace or woodstove. Some people love having an attic, while others want a finished basement. What’s an asset to one potential buyer is a liability for another. What features are assets to you?
Having considered all these points, you now have a clearer idea what to look for. Fill out our handy Home Buying Checklist, and then call Susanne at 614-975-9650 to set up some showings!