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5 Things to Look for When Buying a Single Family Home

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When searching for the perfect home, most people aren’t sure exactly what to look for as they go to viewings, with or without a realtor. If you’re not sure exactly what will suit your busy family, then house hunting will seem like a daunting task. To make the process easier on your family, consider these 5 things at each open house or a private showing. Buying a single family home is less overwhelming when you have an idea of what to look for in a property.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, and I have been monetarily compensated for the collaboration. I have had final say in all wording and stand behind the quality of the written content.

1. Plan for the Future

When looking for a single family home, you need to consider your future family needs. For instance, if you are considering living downtown in San Fran, check if there are any good schools nearby. If you are not thinking about changing your family’s size anytime soon or if you only plan to be in the next house a year or two, then choose a house that fits your current needs.

However, if you want to have kids soon then keep in mind your future family. Look for a property that has enough bedrooms and bathrooms for one or two kids, depending on how many you envision. This way the house will be big enough to accommodate the needs of those who live there for many years to come.

Of course, a big single family home can be costly so set the max figure you’re willing to pay before even starting to view properties in person. A mortgage consultant can help you work through the numbers regarding how much you qualify for when buying a house.

Only invest in a bigger home if you have some wiggle room in your budget. If you can afford it, luxury apartments might be what you choose for your residence, such as those you can find at

2. Location

If you already have a family or plan to have kids soon, it’s important to buy a house in a child-friendly area. When considering buying a single family home, factors to consider about the neighborhood are:

  • Whether there is a school close by
  • If other families with kids around the same age as yours live in the area
  • Are parks nearby or other age-appropriate places to entertain your kids?
  • Whether the streets have sidewalks

Ask yourself, does the area fit what you are currently looking for? In other words, is it right for you and your loved ones?

Location is a BIG factor to consider when buying a single family home. Why? Because you can renovate the interior and exterior of a residence, but you can’t change the location.

If there are nearby playgrounds and schools, visit them to see what they’re like. When looking at houses, also meet neighbors and speak to them, if possible. They can tell you a lot about an area, such as whether there’s a lot of road traffic. Make sure that you also consider the distance between your house and amenities. Where are the nearest grocery store and shopping mall?

3. Weigh Your Options

Young children love to play and can be drawn to the garden now or as they get older. So, consider a single family home with a garden to give your kids more options for outdoor activities. Think about the learning opportunities for kids in a flower or vegetable garden. Gardening is also a great bonding activity with your kids.

If a home is ideal for your needs but has a small garden, it might not be right for you. Alternatively, you could expand the garden – my parents did that! We grew vegetables in our backyard when I was a girl. We had fresh lettuce, green beans, and carrots.

However, don’t break the bank to get a house with a garden. If the area has a local park, you might decide to compromise on the garden. Maybe you buy a house with no garden or with a small garden and then let your kids play in the local park regularly.

Find a safe neighborhood when buying a single family home
Buying a single family home? First make sure the neighborhood is safe. Pixabay photo

4. Safety

The ideal is probably buying a single family home in an area with very low crime rates. If you can afford it, you might even choose a gated community with a security guard. These types of apartments and housing units do not allow strangers to get in without identification. Also, make sure that you choose a house with plenty of exterior lighting.

If the house checks all the other boxes than outside lighting though, you can always move into a house then install exterior lighting fixtures such as copper lanterns by Lantern & Scroll. In fact, if you are buying a single family home instead of renting one, install as many safety measures as you want to help keep your loved ones safe. Great examples are:

  • Lights
  • Security alarms
  • Cameras

5. Schools

Lastly, consider the distance between the school that you want to send your children to and your potential home. Just remember that proximity to a good school often increases house prices.

For this reason, think about living a few blocks away from the school for a more affordable residence. In this case, also look into the length of the commute and consider how your children will get to on time, as well as how easy it is to go to and from school.

Concluding Words on Buying a Single Family Home

Consider these 5 factors to help you find the ideal home for your family. If you are fairly handy and up for a challenge, there’s plenty you can do to take a house from having great potential to being your dream residence. If there are renovation projects that you feel are beyond your expertise, hire contractors that come highly recommended by family and friends for providing quality results at decent prices.

Do you need addition help to choose a house? If so, consider hiring a real estate agent who is familiar with the local area. They can sometimes help you find properties that might not be publicly available for viewing to people without a realtor, as well as hearing about houses for sale before they’re listed.

21 thoughts on “5 Things to Look for When Buying a Single Family Home”

  1. Good article! I have a real estate blog and I love reading other real estate articles! I wrote a similar article a few months ago and I also wrote an article about the whole home buying process, it’s called “Path to Homeownership”.

    I like your article, it was full of good information!

  2. Great tips Christy, I moved this summer and it’s difficult to try to think of all the pitfalls. You hit the nail on the head with the most important aspects. Thank you for sharing with anyone thinking about moving!
    :) hugs!

  3. We’ve been in our current home for over fourteen years, and are considering downsizing now that the kids are on their own. These are all good tips to keep in mind. I would also consider proximity to shopping, church, workplaces, and highway access.

  4. Another good tip is to hire a REALTOR. They have more insights and knowledge than doing it on your own. Interview a few before you commit! For a lot of people purchasing your own home is the largest investment you will ever make. You will want someone to represent your best interest.

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