How exciting! You’ve decided to start your search for a home of your own! You’ve looked around at neighborhoods and schools; you know pretty much which part of town you want to live in. You’ve interviewed with different Realtors™ to make sure you’ve found someone who is experienced, familiar with that area, and has a great reputation. You’ve even gotten in touch with a mortgage lender to find out what you can realistically afford – and scored bonus points for getting loan pre-approval!

Your Realtor™ is preparing a list of available homes for you to visit. So now is the time for you to stop and re-assess what, exactly, you’re going to look for.

That may sound silly. You’re probably thinking that certainly by now you’ve put a lot of thought into this and you know what you want in a home. But whether you’re searching to buy a new or used home, you should be aware that some sellers are experts at highlighting the good stuff – and minimizing some things that could be, er, “better.”

Our point is to be prepared by arming yourself with a little knowledge ahead of time. It might even be a good idea to put together a little checklist to refer to as you visit each home. Because you want to make sure you’re not just dazzled by what they want you to see – you want to look closely at the things you know are important to you, and will make your living in that home as comfortable for you as possible.

And you know us – we’re always here for you! So we thought we’d put together a little “cheat sheet” list of some of the things you may want to remind yourself while the ‘dazzling’ is going on. Some things matter more to certain people than others, of course – and certainly, this list is just a start. But we figure it will get you thinking in the right direction. So pick those that matter to you, add some others you have in mind, and then toss the rest.

1. Rooms and alternative spaces. Do you really need 5 bedrooms? Or would 4 bedrooms plus a loft for your home office work? Today’s floorplans are often flexible and multi-purpose in many areas, so view with an open mind, but specific to your needs.

2. Downstairs bed and bath. Is this something you need for frequent guests, or perhaps an elderly relative? Or would you rather discourage the frequent out-of-town guest who uses your home as a free hotel? (Yeah – we’ve all been there. This is Vegas, baby.)

3. Closet space. If your heart is set on having room for your currently overflowing closet, this matters!

4. Low maintenance landscaping. If gardening isn’t your passion, this will make a big difference in how you spend your weekends!

5. The Kitchen. Hardly used? Or your Dream Room? Walk-in pantry? Work island? Counter seating? Picture yourself in this ‘heart of the home’ night after night and make sure it will meet your lifestyle.

6. Electrical Outlets and Wiring. Today’s buyers are wired, wireless, and connected to many different devices. While this might not be a deal-killer, you want to be aware of what’s available to you before you move in so that any changes needed can be budgeted for ahead of time.

7. Yard and fencing. Some people put their pets high on the list of features wanted in a home, and some things are simply non-negotiable. (If you’re one of them, we don’t even need to remind you of this!)

8. Parking. Two or more cars? How does that work with the size of your garage? What about street parking? Do you need to use part of your garage for a workshop? Without considering these things ahead of time, you might end up with a hornet’s nest of a (neighbor) problem after moving in.

9. Insulation. Not just for energy-saving purposes, but can you hear people speaking in the next room? Ooooh. That could get uncomfortable quickly!

10. Water Pressure. For some, this is huge. For others, no biggie. But definitely something to know ahead of time.

11. Neighbors and Traffic Areas. Make sure you take a good look at the surrounding homes, and pay attention to the amount of traffic that the street gets. Best to look at different times of day – daytime, after work, and at night – to make sure you get an accurate image of the total environment.

That’s a start, at least. And your Realtor™ should also be asking important things about whether there currently are any offers, have there been any major repairs (which will be on the Seller’s Disclosure, too), cost of utilities, the Seller’s timeline, etc. Actually, there’s a lot more your agent will be doing on your behalf – but keep in mind, you’re the one who will be living in the home, not your Realtor™. So you know best what you can live with, or not.

For us, the important thing is that you keep your eye on the prize, so when the choice is made and you’re handed the keys, you don’t have any reason to kick yourself because you fell for the “show” they put on while the home was on display. Of course, trading out extra linen space for a fantastic view or a killer back yard is always going to be smart – and your Realtor™ will help you determine the relative value (both emotionally and financially) in a situation like that. We just want you to make sure you’re starting from a point that includes all your “wants” so you’re making that decision yourself (instead of letting them make it for you – when you weren’t paying attention!).

Ready to go shopping now? Let’s get together and Do It!

New Home Resource helps current and future homeowners with all of their Las Vegas real estate needs. Whether your preference is for a newly built home from a local builder, or a resale property in just the right location, a New Home Resource Realtor® is here to find the perfect property for you. Please contact a New Home Resource Realtor® today at 702-365-1000 or at Broker Joanna Piette, and agents Denise Moreno Thrasher, Jessica O’Brien, Evelyn ‘Beng’ Kern, and Kathy Paterniti are all here to help!