Don’t buy a new home without considering these important factors

Buying a new home? Check out this list of things to ask about before signing on the dotted line. Photo credit: Depositphotos

By Jennifer Allen

Buyer’s remorse is any new homeowner’s worst nightmare. The list of things to consider when searching for your dream home is endless, and the last thing you’d want to do is regret your purchase because of a minor detail you missed. From sunlight exposure to future nearby developments, here are some of the factors most often overlooked by home buyers.

Assessing the property itself

The home you’re viewing may impress you with its modern aesthetics, farmhouse sink and marble countertops, but don’t let that lead you astray. There are several factors beyond looks that you should assess in your potential new home – after all, you want a practical house to live in, too, not just a beautiful one.

Sunlight exposure

Checking how much natural light a house gets won’t cross your mind immediately; it’s something you don’t notice until you don’t have it. Having sufficient sunlight changes the atmosphere drastically, instantly brightening your surroundings and mood.

The best way to see if a house gets enough sunlight is to request viewings at different times of the day to see which rooms the light fills up and which remain dark. Check for any structures that block the sunlight, too. Or use the compass app on your phone to see the house’s orientation; the general rule is that south-facing windows get the most sunlight throughout the day, while east-facing windows get morning sun and west-facing ones get afternoon sun.

Property history

Dig into the property’s past by finding out previous residents and renovations, whether there were issues from inspection reports or if any major events, like a kitchen fire from cooking dinner, occurred on the property. This may seem like overdoing it, but more information is always better when you’re making the biggest purchase of your life. You might even discover something that you can leverage to negotiate the price.


Everything may look fine and dandy on the outside, but it’s not until you do a thorough inspection that you really understand the house’s quality. If you’ve researched the property history, you’ll be able to find details like when the roof or plumbing was last updated. This will help you understand whether major parts are due for renovation soon. If the property requires heavy upkeep and fixes, it’s something to factor into your budget. You don’t want to be stuck with a mortgage and get surprised by maintenance bills.

Neighborhood dynamics

After you’ve done all your checks to make sure the home itself is up to par, it’s time to look at the bigger picture. The neighborhood makes a big difference in your living experience, so it’s worth evaluating whether the environment is right for you.

Survey the community

Get a feel for the community by walking around the neighborhood to see what the other homes and neighbors are like. Don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with people to get a real understanding of what it’s like to live there. You’ll be able to see firsthand what the demographics are like and assess if the community aligns with your lifestyle. If you’re looking to start a family, for example, a hip neighborhood with young students or professionals may not be up your alley.

Explore what a normal day would look like if you were to live there – are there any gyms, restaurants selling your favorite grilled chicken or coffee shops that will become a part of your routine? You can also do your own research on sites that provide neighborhood ratings and crime rates.

Look for potential disturbances

Consider if there are any sources of noise or pollution that could affect you. Whether it’s busy roads, industrial areas, commercial places or upcoming construction, these disruptions will have you rethinking whether you purchased the right home.

Accessibility and convenience

Having to go out of your way every time you need to get to work or buy groceries can be a pain that not even a beautiful home is worth making the sacrifice for. Being able to access amenities and transportation options easily can make or break your living experience, which is why you need to factor these into your house-hunting criteria.

Commute and transportation

Search on Google Maps to understand routes and commute times to key destinations such as work, school, the gym and grocery stores. Sitting in traffic all day to get from point A to point B can be a stressful and frustrating experience. It’s best to choose a property that is located in a convenient area or one that can easily be accessed from your frequently visited places.

Evaluate the transport options available if you don’t have a car or prefer to live in an area that is walkable, bike-friendly or has great public transit. Being able to go on a relaxing stroll or bike ride or to access services easily by train or bus are little things that make a big difference in your quality of life.


Along similar lines, living near facilities like hospitals, green spaces and recreational centers is a bonus point. You might prefer to live somewhere where you are just a few blocks from a park or a community center where you can play pickleball after work, and then drop by a grocery store to pick up eggs and milk on your way home. Convenience is unbeatable.

Growth potential

Homeownership is really an investment, so it’s not too early to think about the property’s resale potential. Do your research to see if any construction projects are in progress or planned. These developments can increase the value of your neighborhood, but on the flip side, they could also come with downsides like more traffic, changes to the demographic or the neighborhood feel that you fell in love with in the first place. Anticipating these changes, or lack thereof, will help you understand the future resale value of your property.

It’s time to get house-hunting

Buying a house is a stressful process, to say the very least. A million things will be running through your mind as you prepare for the biggest purchase of your life. The last thing you want is to forget to check essential factors like property history or potential disturbances. This list of house-hunting tips will help you catch the small but crucial details that may slip your mind so you can confidently say you bought the house of your dreams.

Jennifer Allen is a retired professional chef and long-time writer. Her writing appears in dozens of publications, and she has two cookbooks, Keto Soup Cookbook and Keto Diabetic Cookbook and Meal Plan. These days, she’s busy in the kitchen, developing recipes for various publications and traveling. You can find all her best recipes at Cook What You Love.