Investing in a home is a big decision, and it’s important to cover all of your bases before you start the home-buying process. Before you start house hunting, sit down and consider what features are absolutely necessary to have in your home and neighborhood.
It’s a lot to think about, huh?
Luckily, you’re not in this alone, we’re here to help! With our “How to Buy a House” series, we’ll guide you through a home, room by room, with a specific checklist of things to be on the lookout for. For now, let’s stick with the kitchen. Families end up spending a lot of time in the kitchen, and you’ll want a sturdy and convenient space to work with from the get-go.
Countertops: Space and Style
Depending on the size of your family and how much you cook, you might prefer a lot of counter space or feel indifferent about it. Regardless, a home kitchen should offer a fair amount of counter space compared to an apartment or condo. When you walk through a home, figure out how much space is there and how much space you’ll need.
Another important facet of your kitchen is the materials that make up your countertops. Assuming you don’t plan on doing significant remodeling before you move in, you’ll have to look for practical and stylish countertops in a kitchen. You might luck out by finding a house whose previous owners recently updated the countertops to durable stone or tile, but the countertops could just as likely be older laminate or synthetic. Your countertops don’t have to make or break your decision, but be aware of the upkeep and durability of them before moving forward.
Cabinet and Pantry Storage
Storage is an important aspect throughout an entire house and is especially important in a kitchen. So ask yourself, does this particular kitchen have a variety of cabinets to fit my dishes and food? If there aren’t a particularly large number of cabinets, are there other storage options? A lot of newer kitchens have islands with storage underneath, or walk-in pantries full of shelving, perfect for nonperishable items. Good storage makes things easier all around, so be sure to take note of your options when you first walk through.
Appliances for the Kitchen
Check to see if the kitchen appliances use gas or electricity. Opinions on the two differ from person to person, so you’ll have to research it yourself and decide what you prefer. You may want to stick with what you’re used to, or you might find that you’re better off switching sides. Gas appliances are generally cheaper to use, but are slightly more likely to cause accidents or release toxic fumes that are dangerous to some pets.
The Floor Plan
Popular floor plans change with time, and you’ll likely come across many variations on your search. Today, open floor plans are what’s in! They conveniently connect the kitchen and living area, generally with a dining area in between. This style is useful for entertaining and multitasking. If this isn’t the case in your potential house, is there another area in the house for dining? If not, is your kitchen big enough to comfortably seat your family and any guests you have for dinner? In a nutshell, think about the floor plan as a whole and how it relates back to your kitchen.
These are some of the important things to put on your checklist next time you’re walking through a kitchen that could become yours.
What items do you have on your checklist for a dream home? Let us know in a comment below!