Mortgage Advice

What To Look For When Buying a House

March 4, 2016

This is a guest blog post from Tim DeLongchamp at Atlas Real Estate.

When you’re in the market for a home, finding a listing for the property of your dreams feels like winning the jackpot. The house is in your price range, has enough square footage and, has enough bedrooms to accommodate your family, with an extra bedroom to spare. You’ve thoroughly looked photos of the property and are ready to make an offer before someone else scoops this perfect piece of real estate up. After all, pictures speak a thousand words right? Wrong!

There’s so much more to a house than just the photos online, as photos of a property can often be misleading. Feeling stumped as to what to look for when buying a house? Consider these key areas:


Driving to and visiting the property in question is one of the most important things you can do at the beginning of your home buying journey. It gives you the opportunity to see what the surrounding area is like. For example, let’s say you want to live in a wooded area. The listing’s photos may have conveyed a dense, secluded piece of property, but what wasn’t shown is the disruptive, roaring highway behind the house. Aside from the house itself, be mindful of the things you see along the way – road conditions, surrounding businesses, community lifestyle – and ask yourself: will this benefit my family?

Curb Appeal

This might seem like a given to look for when buying a house, but some of the most important areas can be easily overlooked. As you approach the property from the street, be sure to thoroughly check out the curb appeal. How does the property’s driveway and sidewalk look? Are there shingles missing from the roof? Look at the home’s siding rotting wood, chipping paint and obvious signs of distress. Although chipped paint and a missing shingle may not seem like a big deal, those small issues will rack up serious dollar signs. Examine the property’s landscaping. If the house has a big, beautiful yard with intricate gardens, determine if your thumb is green enough to take on the responsibility of year-round yard work.


The layout of your dream property is certainly important. You want to be sure the flow of the home works for you. Yes, you could knock down a wall or put one up to fix a flow issue, but you must consider the costs of renovating. Contemplate the placement of the bedrooms, as well as the openness and inviting nature of the home. If you like natural light, try visiting the property more than once at different times of day to see how the amount of daylight changes throughout the day.

Storage Space

Storage space, or lack thereof, can often be a deal breaker for homebuyers. If you’re a family who requires a lot of storage space, be sure to check out the closets in every bedroom, bathroom and hallway. Do they provide you with an ample amount of storage? Examine the kitchen cabinets and pantry area, too. If the property has a basement, attic or garage, consider those areas for additional storage space.

I’m a firm believer that you need to attend an open house or visit the property in person with your realtor, especially if you don’ know what to look for when buying a house. If you think you’ve found your dream property, hop in your car, buckle up, and look for the things a photo lens can’t capture. It’ll save you time and money during what is one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your lifetime.

Do you have a question for Tim? Connect with him on Facebook or leave a comment below!

tim-delongchamp-atlas-real-estateAs a licensed realtor for over 20 years, Tim DeLongchamp’s approach to real estate is to focus on the needs of his clients. His primary goal is to help his clients find the home that best suits their needs, or to market their home for the best price. Tim offers unparalleled guidance from his initial contact with a client, all the way to the closing table. He is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the Michigan Association of Realtors, and the North Oakland Board of Realtors.