Buying the right home in Charleston, SC, is an important lifestyle choice. For example, if you have a growing family, you’ll want to ensure that the home will meet your needs as your family expands to avoid another move within a few short years. These house-hunting tips will help you select the right house in Charleston:
Set Priorities, But Be Flexible
Everyone who’s looking for a home has must-haves: Number of bedrooms, a garage, or a backyard for the dog. But keeping your options open at the beginning of your search will help you find features you might not have known you wanted. Maybe a large guest bedroom will double as a home office; perhaps an open layout will be better for entertaining than having a formal dining room. Compromising in some areas may mean gaining unexpected benefits in others.
However, as you search around homes, you should have a priority list. A lot of homes have charming features that may sweep you off your feet, but if you stick to what you need (or will need in the future), then you can avoid buying a home that doesn’t fit your lifestyle.
Don’t Fall in Love with a Particular Style
Many newcomers to Charleston are immediately entranced by the Charleston Single House, an architectural style characterized by being only one room wide. They are beautiful homes, but they are not a good fit for everyone. For example, Charleston Single Houses are built on narrow lots. While this may not be a deal-breaker, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of the architectural types you like the most. If you fall in love with a particular style, you may miss out on the perfect layout. Analyze what your family needs before you pick a particular style you want to buy.
Be a Home-Buying Geek
You may feel silly bringing a notebook or your iPad to open houses and real estate showings, but staying organized is the only way to keep track of a large number of houses. Otherwise, you’re likely to later be asking yourself whether the house with the beautiful sun room is the same one that had the large soaking tub. You’ll also be able to keep track of potential renovation expenses: Was the house with the crack in the living room ceiling the same one that needed a new refrigerator?
Keep notes of your furniture’s measurements and bring a tape measure to determine whether or not your existing pieces would fit. Include photos, videos, and floor plans (or links to them) for each home in your home-buying toolkit, so you can refer to them later on as you proceed through your search.
Assess Current Use of the Home
The current homeowner’s use of the home can give you important clues about how living there would be like. This is true even if the home is staged. It will be frustrating to move into your new home and find that you don’t have enough room for everyday necessities. In the kitchen, check the pantry and cupboards. Is the current homeowner able to fit food, cleaning products, dishes, silverware, cooking utensils, and pots and pans in the space? In the bathroom, look in the linen closet, all cabinets, and drawers to see if space is sufficient. Check storage space in bedrooms, hallways, the laundry room, and the garage too.
Narrow Your Choices
It’s more difficult to eliminate homes from the list if you have an emotional attachment to a house. If you just can’t bring yourself to strike a home from the list because you have fallen in love with it despite its shortcomings, it’s time to get tough. Think of yourself as an inspector and go through every detail of the house, the yard, the location, and the price. If you decide to keep it in the running, you’ll be doing so with open eyes.
Buying a Home in Charleston, SC
Buying a home in Charleston is exciting, but it can be a challenge to find the right one. These tips will help you assess your options and make the best decision for you and your family.