By: Stella Katsipoutis
Here’s a little-known fact about me: I am obsessed with checklists. Weekend shopping lists. Weekday to-do lists. Lifetime goal lists. If you pat me down at any given moment, you’re guaranteed to find some sort of list crumpled up in my pockets. I don’t know if it’s because I’m afraid my life would be in shambles if I didn’t scribble everything down on a Post-It or because I’m hooked on the thrill of checking items off when I complete them. But my lists are my security blanket. So when my husband, George, and I were finally ready to head out in search of our first home after getting preapproved for a mortgage and finding a great real estate agent, it goes without saying I was practically drowning myself in to-do lists. But there was one particular list that served as my right hand throughout my house-hunting process.
While George felt totally comfortable walking into a newly listed house, taking a quick glance around, and giving a definitive “I love it” or “I hate it” within a few minutes, I was more like an MRI machine, scanning every last corner of the house to make sure it had my top must-haves and was as scratch-, stain-, dent-, crack- and squeak-free as possible. The more I looked at the nitty-gritty details—as well as the big picture—as we went from house to house, the more I realized that I needed a massive checklist to help me remember all the important stuff I had to look at each time we visited a new place. So I scraped one together on a large notepad, and I carried it with me to each and every house we wanted to tour. OCD? Probably. But it paid off. Trust me, after looking at 20+ different houses, I was thankful that I had my checklist to help me stay organized and sane.
The way I looked at it, our future home wouldn’t just be our home; I thought of it almost like a product that we may or may not sell to someone else one day. When I put my list together, I did some research and tried to include items that weren’t just crucial for my own comfort, convenience and enjoyment, but also for the resale value of our home. A lot of the things I wrote down were things that an inspector would look at whenever we decided to buy a particular home, but I knew that looking at these details early on would help us save time, money and stress in the long run—no matter how crazy it made me look. I preferred to be a little obsessive in the moment rather than get hit with any major surprises after we signed a hefty contract.
To help make your home search easier—and to save you the time of drafting up your own house hunting checklist—I’m sharing my list with you below. Feel free to print it out as many times as you’d like (that way, you won’t have to carry around a giant note pad like I did!) or add any items that are important to you. And most importantly, don’t forget to have fun while you’re searching. Happy hunting!
*The content provided in this blog consists of the opinions and ideas of the author alone and should be used for informational purposes only. VyStar Credit Union disclaims any liability for decisions you make based on the information provided.