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What to Look for When Buying a Seattle Home?

January 15, 2020

The hunt for a new home is an exciting time in the lives of many people. Whether you’re browsing the real estate websites or actively touring open houses, there’s a multitude of things to consider that will help ensure you’re making the right choice.

Knowing what to look for when searching for a new Seattle home can help you make a more informed decision and ensure decades of happiness to come. Before you log onto the MLS or visit another open house, here are a few things that you can do to help ensure that you’ll find the perfect home.

Needs vs. Wants

Making a list of your needs versus your wants can help you narrow down your choices and tell you precisely what you need to look for in a new home. For example, maybe you’re planning on having more children in the next few years. Buying a home with more rooms that you currently need will allow your family to grow comfortably under one roof.

When it comes to “wants,” these are things that are nice to have, but won’t necessarily be an issue if you don’t get them. A “want” could be a jacuzzi in the backyard. Some Seattle homes have them. Others don’t. If you find the perfect home, but it doesn’t have a jacuzzi, it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility that you can’t add one in the future.

The reality of buying a new home is that you probably won’t get everything that you’re looking for—unless it’s new construction where you can completely customize every single detail to your liking. By making sure the “needs” on your checklist are met, and your “wants” are within reach, you’ll find something that you’re happy with.

Location, Location, Location

Pretend for a minute that you’ve found the perfect home. It’s listed at the right price, excellent curb appeal, and has everything that you’re looking for. There’s just one small issue—it’s located 20 miles from your job. While that may not seem like a long-distance, consider how long it will take you to get there in Seattle rush-hour traffic at 7 am—and back home again at 5 pm.

The neighborhood itself is also a vital consideration. A few of them are run by Homeowner’s Associations (HOA’s)—which is either a good or not-so-good thing for some people.

Other neighborhoods will have lots of old-growth trees—this means you’ll need to hire a landscaper or DIY when the leaves start to turn color and drop in the fall time. Snow is another consideration. How quickly will the local municipality plow the streets in the event of a major snowstorm?

Things You Shouldn’t Stress Over

You probably have a few deal breakers in mind that would cause you to pass on a particular house. While that’s completely normal, there are a few things that really don’t matter in the long run. The interior décor of the home is one of them. 

Most sellers will stage their house, but neglect to remove dated or ugly fixtures, wallpaper, and poor lighting. That side bedroom that’s painted in a dark maroon color? A quick coat of paint, a Saturday afternoon, and you’re good to go.

Don’t let the small imperfections of a house turn you away. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll find everything that you’re looking for, and most imperfections will only require the investment of a few hours and a little elbow grease to fix things to your liking.

Know Your Deal Breakers

As important as it is to not stress over the small stuff, there comes a time when you need to draw the line. When you’re browsing homes online or touring open houses, keep a running checklist of the things that you absolutely do not like nor want in a new home.

For example, if you’re looking for a beautifully landscaped backyard, yet the outside has nothing more than patches of dirt and yellow grass, keep in mind that it’s going to take a lot of money or time to get it to your liking. For some people, that goes above and beyond what they’re willing to invest in getting it to look the way they want it.

Touch Everything

When you’re touring a home or visiting an open house, be sure to touch everything. Flick the light switches, flush the toilets, and turn on the faucets. You’ll want to know that everything works as intended—lest you buy the house and realize that the central heater makes a loud and atrocious noise when it comes on at 2 am.

Opening and closing the doors and windows will also give you an indication if the home requires any repairs once you purchase it. By manually testing out the various amenities and elements of a home, you’ll have a good indication of what does and doesn’t work. This also might allow you some leeway when it comes time to negotiate the price.

Buying a New Home in Seattle

If you’re ready to buy a new home in Seattle, give me a call at (206) 953-8311. My name is Scott Haveson and I’m one of the hardest working realtors in the area and have a passion for this city. I have helped countless home buyers find their perfect home in the ideal neighborhood.

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Scott is more than just a realtor: in the short time that I have known him he has become a trusted advisor and friend.  I first had the pleasure of working with Scott when I decided to sell my property on the East side.  He went well beyond what I came to expect from other brokers and helped me in every aspect of getting my house ready for sale.  He also gathered the most up-to-date market intelligence so that we could set the right offering price.  Once the sale was done, Scott gave me the education I needed to purchase my new home in Seattle with confidence.  Throughout the process he provided personalized service and had a team of specialists on standby to assist in every aspect of the transaction.  If you’ve spent any time looking at real estate in Seattle recently, you know that every advantage counts.  In today’s competitive market, you need a person like Scott on your side. ~ Mark M.

Buying or selling your perfect Seattle home?

shaveson@windermere.com • (206) 953-8311
214 W McGraw St. Seattle, WA 98119