Category: Life

12 House-Hunting Tips to Help You Make the Best Choice

In the hunt for the perfect house, it’s easy to get swept off with a home’s most charming details (a gracious front porch) and play down the major things you’ll be kicking yourself for after (the price is over budget). And if you’re touring multiple open houses each weekend, keeping everything straight can get complicated.

Set your priorities and streamline the house-hunting procedure early on, and you may breathe easier knowing you have a handle on things. It’s probably the most important purchase you will ever make, so take some deep breaths and make a plan before diving in — you’ll be glad you did.

These 12 tips can keep you organized and focused on the important things during your house hunt.

Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders

1. Set your priorities. Prior to having a peek at any houses, sit right down and write out whatever you want in a home, together with input from many members of their household. Then select your top five, or even best three, must-haves.

Once you start searching, all kinds of charming features are bound to influence you; maintaining your priorities record close at hand can keep you on track.

Terracotta Design Build

2. Make a comparison chart. As soon as you have seen a dozen or more houses, it gets rather hard to keep track of the features in each one. Make things a bit easier by making your own comparison chart or checklist to bring along to each residence, and make notes during or immediately after each tour.

Beyond the basics (beds and baths) contemplate including notes landscaping, the condition of the roof and exterior, natural lighting in each room, storage area and price per square foot. Consider this chart a personal tool — something you’ll be able to look back on to help guide your decision making, not a replacement for a fantastic home inspection.

Gridley + Graves Photographers

3. Walk once and let yourself soak it all in. If you tour a home for the first time, the excitement will make it hard to concentrate on … well, anything at all. I say, just go with it. Have fun, wander about and mentally note your initial impressions of the space. It’s time to get to work after the butterflies have expired.

Linda McDougald Design | Postcard from Paris Home

4. Then go back to the beginning and begin. Walk straight back to the front of the house and literally start your tour. This time, pull out your clipboard and pen, don’t rush and approach the home as if you were an inspector instead of a possible buyer.

Shirley Parks Design

5. Bring furniture measurements. Jumping the gun? Maybe. A deal breaker? Probably not. But if each room in the house presents problems with your present furniture scenario, you could efficiently be adding thousands of dollars to the price if you need to buy new furniture — something that’s likely better to know sooner rather than later.


6. Sketch a floor plan. You don’t need to have any real drawing skills to make a superbasic floor plan on paper, and using it to refer to later is priceless. Simply do your best. Starting at the front door, draw boxes such as rooms and indicate doors, windows, stairways and openings about where they’re.

Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders

7. Ask to take photographs (or even a movie). It’s amazing how quickly memory fades. Ensure you have backup by creating a floor plan and taking photographs or a brief video tour if possible — it will truly give you a full picture of exactly what the house looks like. Be sure to ask the Realtor for permission before taking any video or photos. And even then, it is assumed they are for personal use, so don’t post them to your Facebook page or site … at least till you own the house.

Terracotta Design Build

8. Open the closets and cupboards. Suitable storage is a really important element in the way the home looks and feels when you’re living inside. Note the quantity and dimensions of cupboards and closets throughout the house, and do not be afraid to glance inside. In the event the present homeowner gets them packed to the gills, which may be a sign that the house doesn’t have enough storage for its dimensions.

Lucy Interior Design

9. Lift the carpets up. While this isn’t something you necessarily want to do during a busy open house, if you’re back for a second appearance and are actually considering making an offer, then it is important to know what it is you’re getting into. Rugs (and even furniture) may be utilized to hide damaged floors, so you have a right to learn what’s going on under there. Just let the Realtor know exactly what you want to see, and he or she should adapt you.

Barnes Vanze Architects, Inc

10. Look high and appear low. It’s important to get a fantastic look at the house that could be your new home, so make a point of focusing on things outside your usual line of vision. Have a look at the ceilings, walls, floors, trim, windowsand roof and under the sinks.

Barnes Vanze Architects, Inc

11. Check out the home at different times of day. If you do come back for a second showing, create it through another time of day from the open house or initial tour. In the day, notice not just the fluctuations in light, but also the atmosphere in the neighborhood. Are individuals out sitting porches? Are children playing outside? Is it? You are bound to learn and discover unique things about the house each time.

Kerrisdale Design Inc

12. Have a moment to imagine how you’d use the distance. Simply because the present owner (or staging firm) gets the second bedroom setup for guests doesn’t mean that you can’t use it as an office, a home gym or a nursery. Paint colors, furniture structures and window treatments can also all be swapped out, so use your imagination and actually put yourself in the home.

Tell us : Share your own home-buying stories and suggestions in the Comments.

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What Can You Do With an Extra Room?

Let’s pretend for a minute. Say you’ve got an extra room in your house and you can do anything with it. Pretend you do not require the space for that extra child or that collection of merry-go-round horses. It is just extra and you can do anything with it.

It could be your salsa dancing room or your indoor basketball court. Maybe it’s a meditation room, a home gym or a household room.

In fact we could all use an extra room. Once we are all set and the kitchen, baths and common rooms have been taken care of, there appears to always be a demand for just a little extra space. A fantasy room.

I’m trying to chose between a comfy, comfortable library and also a playroom for the kids. Not that there’s any hurry for my decision.


A game area? A billiard dining table, board games, possibly even a built-in bar. It is like a playroom for adults.

SchappacherWhite Architecture D.P.C.

There’s no reason a game room can’t be stylish, no matter what your style is. This shed (OK, deluxe shed) is a bright, open-air take on the dark, leather-and-beer-signs version of the living room.

Jennifer Bevan Interiors

A screening room? Otherwise called a media room. This one goes out using supercomfy chairs and cocktail tables. I’ve been wanting to see all of the Harry Potter movies in a row. This room are the place to get it done.

Read thousands of media room designs

John Willis Homes

A screening room does not have to have particular architecture. A big screen and a lot of comfortable seating are actually all you need (oh, and blackout shades).

Krieger + Associates Architects, Inc..

A home library? Is your book set in teetering piles against the wall? Is your idea of a fantastic time a few hours of quiet solitude with a fantastic novel? Floor-to-ceiliing built-ins, a sliding ladder and a fantastic reading seat would do well.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

You do not need built-ins (rows of matching Billy bookcases out of Ikea can do the trick), but they do look good, do not they? And books are their own form of decoration, adding colour, texture and personality to an area (and to a person, for that matter).

Habitar Design

An audio room? Just picture the epic jam sessions with your buddies to be had here. You may never be the Rolling Stones, but if you’ve got your own private music room you’ll be able to pretend you’re.

Bruce Palmer Interior Design

Soundproofing does not have to be egg cartons stapled into the garage door. Support you mini Mozart with soundproofed, vinyl-covered walls. It can double as a padded room for all the thrashing.

Globus Builder

A craft room? Indulge your inner Martha. Imagine what sort of amazing and beautiful things you could make if you had the surface region and the storage room to accompany your imagination.

It does not have to be fancy. A fantastic craft room just must be organized and provide a tiny surface space. A painted pegboard and a number of containers are a fantastic start.

See how to set up a workshop

Kate Jackson Design

A playroom? It is fun for the kids and fun for the grown-ups (the kids have somewhere to go to raise a ruckus). It does not have to have to be an architect-designed tree house. Indoor swings, beanbags and some shelving for toys. There you have it.

Obviously it’s possible to go full-on forest (or whatever) fantasy and turn your playroom into a themed romp through the land of make believe.

Wendi Young Design

A perfect guest room. A designated guest room is always ready, nicely decorated and cozy. Nobody must sleep on a blow-up under your desk. How relaxing to not have to go digging for the extra sheets each time Aunt Agnes visits.

David Howell Design

A guest room can reflect your personality and design quirks as much as any other room. Use it to create an aesthetic dream room where clutter isn’t welcome.

Judith Balis Interiors

A home office. Whether you’re a writer, a bookkeeper or a homemaker, you deserve your personal space.

Sett Studio

This backyard prefab cottage is the best home office — off but close. Tiny but just big enough.

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Breathe Easier from Allergyproofing Your Home

For people with allergies, springtime means over sunshine and fresh flowers — it’s the start of the inevitable hay fever season. Whoever has allergies understands how embarrassing this time of year may be and just how important it’s to have a safe place to retreat to.

It’s possible to create your home clearer of seasonal allergens, dust and mold by developing a consistent routine. Cleaning clutter out, finding problem zones and sticking to certain materials may also help to make your home a haven from pollen. Read on to learn the best approaches to eliminate allergens from your home, room by room.


Living RoomChoose easy-to-clean furniture — prevent too much upholstery. Use washable curtains and substitute flat blinds with washable roller shades. Keep flowers and potted plants outside. If mold sensitivity is a issue, consider placing aquarium gravel over the dirt to contain mold growth. Keep away from fireplaces or stoves — smoke is a irritant. Natural-gas fireplaces should be fine. Clear out clutter — piles of magazines, papers and other knickknacks collect dust quickly.

Design Set Match

Utilize a vented exhaust fan on your stove to totally remove cooking fumes out of your kitchen. Scrub sinks, faucets, refrigerator trays and door seals to remove mold. Maintain under-sink cabinets and countertops clean and dry. Utilize a cleanser. Get a secure trash bin, and empty it frequently to keep insects away. Cockroaches are a frequent cause of indoor allergy asthma and allergies — yet another reason to keep them out of the home.

Amoroso Design

BedroomWash bedding in hot water at least once a week to kill dust mites. These critters love dead skin cells, and hot water is the best way to get rid of them. Purchase dust mite covers for cushions, mattresses and box springs. Use synthetic materials for bedding — they’re less likely to carry allergens and trigger reactions. Stay away from goose down.If carpets is a must, elect for low-pile carpeting, which is less likely to attract dust mites and other contaminants. Do your best to keep pets out of the bedroom, particularly during allergy season.


Make sure your exhaust fan is functioning correctly, and run it after each shower or tub to remove extra moisture.
Eliminate any wallpaper, and put in tile or a mold-resistant paint.
Dry the bathtub and shower after each use, and wash with bleach frequently.
Get rid of any moldy bath mats or shower curtains.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

More Allergy-Fighting Tips

Brush or wash any pets at least once a week to get rid of dander.
Close windows throughout pollen season — rely on air conditioning if you can.
Choose an air filter that has a small-particle or HEPA filter. Direct one toward your face while you sleep to ensure a full night’s rest.
Maintain your house’s temperature about 70 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity at 50 percent. Anything higher will create a breeding ground for dust mites and mold.
Have a shower right after doing any work outside to prevent spreading allergens and pollens inside.
Spring Clean Your Own Kitchen
Principle: No Dogs Allowed?
Tackle Home Junk With Appropriate Disposal

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