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Buying A New Home Checklist

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Create an annual maintenance schedule on your calendarSetting up your home maintenance calendar as soon as possible will save you in the long run, says top real estate agent Alona Lorenz, who works with Mimken.

Create a home fire escape planYour ability to get out of a house fire safely can largely depend on your preparedness beforehand. Gather your family together and make a plan soon after move-in. Highlight exits, escape routes, and the working smoke detectors in each room. If you have young children, consider creating a floor plan of your home with a designated escape route.

Make sure your street number is visible from the road so emergency services can find your home. Plan an outside meeting place close to your home, where everyone can meet in the event of a fire.

Next, make sure you are clear on how much home you can afford. Check out our calculator, which will help you determine your monthly mortgage payment, adjusting for variables such as the size of your down payment, the type of mortgage you will qualify for, and current interest rates. You can also get an official estimate by following our next tip.

Things you can buy later: Spices (purchase as you need them instead of buying an expensive set).First aid and wellness essentialsAccidents happen, and you will eventually get sick. Be prepared by having the basics on hand to treat yourself. (Follow up with emergency care or your physician, if necessary). You can purchase a simple first aid kit and supplement it with over-the-counter products or start from scratch.

A good house-hunting checklist helps you keep track of each home you look at so you can match up the features of the home with your housing needs and wants. However, a great house hunting checklist includes items that could make the difference between getting the home you want or missing out because another buyer was better prepared.

Communication skills. The homebuying process involves lots of legal and real estate terms, with strict deadlines that must be met along the way. Set expectations for how you want to be contacted (text, phone call, email, etc.), how often you want to be updated from the beginning of the process and hold your agent to those standards.

Drive around and check out how close grocery stores, pharmacies, parks, department stores, restaurants are to the homes you like. Striking up a conversation with a neighbor may reveal details that seal the deal or raise red flags.

If you drive by a for-sale by owner (FSBO) sign in an area you like, it may be worth a call to compare the price the owner is offering to other homes for sale in the area. Owners often give the FSBO option a shot to avoid paying real estate commission fees, which means you may get a better price on the sale of the home.

A home inspection is a written report by a professional home inspector that details the condition of a home. Real estate agents typically have referral relationships with home inspection companies, but you can search for your own home inspector through the American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Association of Home Inspectors.

You may save money or get better warranty coverage if you compare the seller-offered home warranty to the home warranty companies on your own list. The average cost for a home warranty ranges from $300 to $600, according to Consumer Affairs.

Keep the layout and measurements of your new home in mind, as this could mean more or less space for your belongings. Be mindful of furniture size, too. Will the new couch fit Is there enough space for the washer and dryer Are the bedrooms big enough to fit your current beds Being mindful of space before moving may help you better decide what to take with you and what you may need to replace.

On the other hand, if your new home comes with the major appliances you need, take a minute to ensure they are working properly. Turn on the stove, test the microwave, run the dishwasher and look at the temperature of the refrigerator to ensu

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