buying first home house hunting

First Time Home Buyer

House Hunting Checklist for Buying Your First Home

House hunting is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable aspects of buying your first home. You get to check out different neighborhoods, see the inside of beautiful homes, and begin envisioning the possibilities available for your future. You’ll also get a feel for the traits and characteristics you desire in a home and which you can live without. 

However, as you go through this experience and browse from one home to the next, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. You may even forget to pay attention to critical matters such as the practicality of the floor plan, the condition of the roof, or the amount of storage space in the home. To prevent this, we’ve put together a house-hunting checklist that you can use on each home tour. 


What to Do Before You Begin Shopping for a Home

Before you begin browsing homes, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row and your finances are in order. In addition to saving for a downpayment, you’ll want to have consistent income and a good credit history

After gathering quotes from lenders in your area, you’ll want to get prequalified for a home loan. It’s important that you have a prequalification letter in hand before you begin shopping for a home. That way, when you’ve found a home you like, you’ll be fully prepared and ready to make an offer.


Helpful House-Hunting Checklist for First-Time Buyers

Once you’ve taken care of the financial side of things, you can move on to the more exciting part of buying your first home – it’s time to start shopping! You can begin by contacting a local buyers agent in your area, who will help you schedule appointments for home tours.

As you explore different homes in your area, you can use the following checklist to keep track of your findings and narrow down your options. While you’re looking at each home, don’t forget to pay attention to:

  • The square footage, including with and without the basement
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • The overall floorplan
  • Condition of the basement
  • Condition of the walls on the interior
  • Signs of settling
  • Warning signs of water damage
  • Amount of storage space (closets, shelves, etc.)
  • Size and condition of the garage
  • Appearance and condition of the exterior
  • Gutters and downspouts
  • Condition of the roof and its age
  • Age, size, and condition of the windows
  • Yard and landscaping
  • Fence, patio, deck, and other exterior elements
  • Heating and cooling system
  • Age of hot water heater
  • Other wants and needs you may have


Keep in mind, this checklist is just a starting point. Feel free to customize it as you see fit! Every homeowner is different and has their own wants and needs. In the end, what matters most is your happiness and that you feel like the home is a good fit for you.


Ready to Get Started?

We’d love to help you get started with the process of buying your first home! Call today to get in touch and begin filling out your home loan application.