The Perfect Location

Exterior Considerations To Keep In Mind When Shopping For A Family Home

When shopping for a single-family home, many people pay a lot of attention to the interior. They examine the HVAC system and the plumbing, assess the condition of the carpet, and decide whether they like the cupboard layout. All of these factors are important to consider. However, you do also want to pay attention to the home's exterior. Here are some specific things you should consider about a family home's outside.

Does the yard drain well?

If possible, arrange to see the home — or at least stop by and see the yard — after there has been a substantial rainstorm. This way, you can assess how well the yard drains. If there are a lot of puddles, you may not want your kids or pets playing out there.

If you're not able to see the home after it rains, then look closely for signs that the yard becomes wet or drains poorly. Are there areas where the grass seems to be washed out and packed down? Are there low spots? 

Is there a fence, and what condition is it in?

If you have kids or a dog, you probably want a fenced-in yard, unless, perhaps, the home is way out in the middle of the country away from neighbors. If there is a fence, check what condition it is in. Fences can cost several thousand dollars or more to replace, so if a home needs a new fence, this is a reason to make a lower offer.

Are any concrete paths or pavers in good shape?

Check that any concrete pads or pavers are in good condition. You want them to be free from cracks and chips. These can be tripping hazards, particularly In the winter. Concrete surfaces that are in good shape should last you quite a long time if you care for them properly.

How easily can you reach the windows?

Are the windows in areas where you can easily reach them, or are they in areas you would have a hard time safely reaching from a ladder? Hard-to-reach windows will need to be professionally cleaned, which can cost quite a lot of money over the years. This should not necessarily turn you off from buying a home, but you do need to keep this extra cost in mind.

When shopping for a family home, you need to pay attention to the yard and the exterior of the home, too. Talk to your real estate agent for more tips and information.