If you’re thinking about purchasing your first home, you may not understand just how complex the buying process can be. There are a vast array of factors that you will need to take into consideration when searching for the perfect home in Tucson. Once you know what to look out for, you will also need to rank them in order of importance to you as a new homeowner.
For some individuals, the quality of the local school system is the most important factor for them. On the other hand, some people only consider homes that offer open floor layouts and modern appliances. If you know exactly what you’re searching for, it can be much easier for you to find a home that matches your needs and specifications, which should keep you from being caught off guard and will allow you to be satisfied with your new home purchase.
The following is a list of the 15 essential considerations that any new home buyer should keep in mind when purchasing a home!
1. How Does the Neighborhood and Community “Fit” with Your Family?
You need to consider how the neighborhood and local community “fits” with you and your family. The location of your home is just as important as the quality of the home itself and there are a wide range of things to consider when looking at the quality of your neighborhood and community. Does your home have access to major freeways or shopping and entertainment venues? If you enjoy shopping, you likely don’t want to purchase a home that’s an hour away from any good shopping centers.
You should also consider your commute to work — driving long distances to and from work every day can put a strain on anyone, which is why you may want to find a home that’s relatively nearby your place of work. If you love to socialize and enjoy living in a place that has a strong social atmosphere, search for a home that offers that atmosphere. You should also take the time to look at the local Tucson community and community amenities. Some communities offer neighborhood pools and recreational facilities that you or your children may appreciate, which is something to keep in mind.
2. What Are the Local Schools Like?
If you have children, you’ll likely be wondering what the local Tucson schools are like. If there are a large number of school options nearby the home you’re considering, it can be difficult to identify which ones will provide your child with a quality education. Make sure that you check online resources for reviews and information about the local schools and districts in the area.
The most popular and effective online resources are Niche and Greatschools, both of which provide comprehensive details and reviews of any local school. These details include test score averages, information about extracurricular classes, college readiness, and academic progress, all of which can be compared to state and national averages. By browsing through these websites and reading about the schools located near your home of choice, you’ll be able to assess whether or not these schools are good enough for your child.
3. Are There Plenty of Recreational Activities In the Community for You and Your Family?
If you enjoy spending time outside the home, the presence of recreational activities in your community may be important to you. If so, consider conducting searches on Yelp or Tripadvisor for parks and recreational activities located near the home that you’re considering. If you spend a substantial amount of your time partaking in such activities, it’s important that you find a home that’s a short walk or drive away from high quality recreational amenities and venues. Both Yelp and Tripadvisor include customer reviews by people who have actually spent time at these destinations, which should provide you with what you need to assess their quality.
4. How Close Are the Neighbors and Surrounding Structures?
If you enjoy your privacy and would prefer a more secluded living environment, you’ll want to steer clear of purchasing a home that’s located only feet away from another home (which typically isn’t much of a problem for spacious Tucson luxury homes). While close neighbors aren’t automatically noisy neighbors, this is a risk that you’re going to have to take. If you want to mitigate this risk, inquire about the neighbors with the current owner of the home you’re looking at. If you want to avoid even the possibility of noise or privacy issues, you could consider a large ranch-style home or Tucson estate that offers spacious grounds.
5. What’s Parking Like for You and Your Guests?
If you enjoy hosting parties and barbecues with your friends and family, the parking situation at your home of choice is likely going to be a top consideration for you. Make sure that the driveway at your home is large enough to support multiple cars. If the home has a garage, one or two cars can park inside with more on the driveway. You should also consider whether or not street parking is available. If it is, you need to know about any permit requirements before moving in. You don’t want to be in a situation where you forgot to obtain the right street parking permits when the night of the party arrives — you may also want to find out about street sweeping in your area. This is a type of municipal function that’s aimed at keeping city streets cleaned. City websites typically offer schedules of street sweeping that you can reference when planning a party.
6. Architectural Quality, Integrity, & Detail
The architectural quality and integrity of a home is important if you want to be satisfied with your purchase. A thorough inspection should be able to identify whether or not the home you’re looking at is structurally sound. The presence of hairline cracks within the home’s main structure will determine whether or not the quality of the home is good enough for you to go through with your purchase. A great design will lead to a home that’s longer lasting and will serve you well over the years.
7. How is the Roof Holding Up?
When you’ve found a home that looks appealing and seems like a good purchase, you should first take a look at the roof and determine how well or otherwise it’s holding up. If the roof is 20 years old, you may run into issues with water leaks and torn shingles that can cost you a large sum of money in repairs soon after you’ve purchased the home. Make sure that the home inspector you choose to conduct an inspection provides you with details about the quality of the roof. If it’s in bad shape, consider asking for a lower price on the property or provide the current homeowner with a stipulation that they replace the roof before you close on the home.
8. Assessing the Interior Floorplan
For many new homeowners, the layout of the interior and design is a top consideration. If you enjoy open spaces with large amounts of natural light, you’ll want to search for a home that advertises an open floor plan. You’ll be walking through these rooms every day, which is why you should focus on the layout when taking a tour of the home. Check to see if the rooms are easy to navigate and if everything makes sense with the flow of the layout.
9. Window Size, Direction & Placement, Is There Ample Natural Light?
The size, placement, and direction of the windows in a home can be an important factor to whether or not you’re satisfied with the home you’ve selected. While it’s certainly possible to modify the size of the windows in the home or change them altogether, it’s much cheaper to find a home that already has the types of windows you want. Consider looking for a home that offers ample natural light, which is a good way to keep your energy bills low and provide your home with a more appealing aesthetic.
10. Where is the Laundry Room?
The location of the laundry room in a home is one of those considerations that’s often overlooked yet essential all the same. If you have a large family, you’ll likely be spending a substantial amount of time in the laundry room, which is why you want to avoid homes that have the laundry room in the basement or another room you hardly ever use. The most optimal location for a laundry room is nearby the primary living area in the home.
11. Are the Kitchen Features Up to Date and Well-Maintained?
Unless you eat out on a regular basis, the kitchen is among the most important rooms of a home. This is a room that you’ll enter and make food in almost every day, which is why you should heavily consider the features of the kitchen. Does the kitchen you’re looking at include an electric stove or a gas stove? Is there enough storage in the kitchen for your food and appliances? By asking yourself these questions and more, you’ll be able to determine what it is that you want in a kitchen.
12. Make Sure the Home Plumbing is in Working Order
Almost nothing is worse when owning a home than the plumbing not working properly. Whether the water pressure dies down to a trickle or the boiler doesn’t heat the water like it should, you’ll want to determine the quality of the home plumbing before purchasing the property. You can run the faucets to check the pressure of the water. Make sure that the pipes have been insulated and that they weren’t built with lead. You should also check on the quality of the boiler or water heater.
13. Is there Adequate Insulation and What Are the Heating and Cooling Systems Like?
If you want to keep your monthly energy bills low, you need high amounts of insulation throughout your home as well as energy efficient heating and cooling systems. Inquire about the insulation within the attic, basement, and ducts to make sure that cold air will be kept out during the cool winter months. For the heating and cooling systems, these should be replaced every 10 years or so. Don’t purchase a home with old heating and cooling systems unless the current homeowner agrees to replace the system or lower the price of the property.
14. Don’t Forget to Test Home Features & Appliances!
When you’re taking a tour through a home that you’re thinking or purchasing, don’t forget to test the main features and appliances throughout the property. Flip all light switches and turn on every faucet. Open and close the windows and doors to make sure that they move efficiently. You want to know that everything works and works well.
15. Determine Your Deal Breakers — Does This Home Pass the Test?
Everyone has a deal breaker or two that can turn a good and rewarding purchase into a poor one. You need to find out what’s most important to you in a home, which you should always keep in mind when assessing a potential home for purchase. If a large kitchen with plenty of cabinet space is essential for you, don’t settle for less or you may find yourself unhappy with the large investment you’ve made!
There are many considerations to keep in mind when purchasing a Tucson luxury home, the list above should get you started but if you find yourself in need of assistance, please feel free to reach out to our team of Tucson real estate professionals and we’ll be more than happy to assist you with the home buying or selling process!