Here's A List Of All The Amenities You Should Look For In A New House

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This past summer we decided to sell our home and buy another. Not wanting to sell first and move furinture to storage/temporary living etc, then buy, we made the decision to purchase, then placed our existing home on the market.  Kim helped us find a home that fit our…

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Dining Room

When designing the dining space add enough seating to accommodate the maximum number of allowable guests. You may want to even add a few extra fold-able chairs in a closet. Pro-tip: add felt protectors to the legs of your table and chairs.

When shopping for dishware consider shopping at commercial kitchen supplier. Commercial suppliers provide durable supplies at a fraction of the cost. Amazon basics is also a great way to get low cost, decent quality items. Bonus: with Amazon these can be easily delivered to your cleaner or team.

Cleanliness

Make life easy on yourself and your cleaner by stocking the property with everything essential. Also provide some basic cleaning supplies to guests, just in case.

Using a List to See Properties

Most MLS systems used by real estate agents to find homes contain search parameters. Some will let you exclude certain types of factors, which can be helpful to you. Your agent can exclude all homes with carpeting from your search if you really, really don’t want to buy a home with that feature. Maybe you’d like to install hardwood floors.

The more closely you define your parameters, the fewer homes you may find that are right for you. It's often best to be less precise if you don't feel really strongly about having or not having some features.

Exterior Features

We all have some idea of what our perfect home would look like from the street. The exterior features are twofold. You have the home’s construction. These choices consist of adobe, brick, concrete block, log, metal, stone, straw, or wood. You also have the exterior material, such as brick, cement siding, lap siding, metal siding, vinyl siding, shingle, stone, stucco, veneer, or wood.

The Style of the Home

You have many choices here. An A-frame is a house style with a sloping roof line that resembles the letter A, thus the name. A bungalow is a single story, although some have a second story built into a sloping roof, often with dormer windows.

Colonial homes have two to three stories, fireplaces, and brick or wood facades. Floor plans have traditional layouts. Kitchens, dining rooms, and living rooms are on the first floor. Bedrooms are on the upper floors.

The design of contemporary-style homes grew out of the Industrial Revolution. It includes cottages, domes, logs, Mediterranean style, ranches, Tudors, and Victorians.

The Roof

You also have many options for roofing material. The most feasible choices include composition shingle, concrete tile, metal, rock, shake, slate, tar, tile, or wood.

The Yard

Your yard allows for more customization than most other aspects of your home. You'll have to decide on the size and what type of landscaping you want. You can choose from many amenities and features from there, such as gardens, automatic sprinklers/drip/misting systems, swimming pool or sport pool, a deck, a courtyard, a patio (covered or uncovered), or an outdoor kitchen.

Cleaning and Storage Amenities

According to Trip Advisor’s 2016 vacation rental survey, 67% of travelers believe that vacation rentals are better than hotels because they’re able to do their laundry whenever they want (at no extra cost). But what other amenities do they look for in a vacation rental?

39. Cleaning supplies

The act of simply providing cleaning supplies and placing them where guests can see them will encourage them to clean. Prepare a small rental cleaning kit and stock it with recognizable, branded products. You can even prepare special instructions on which products to use to clean each area of the house, such as kitchen counters or shower doors.

40. A washer and dryer

Ideally, your vacation rental will have its own washer and dryer, that you’re happy to let guests have access to. Guests love to be able to keep up with their own laundry while they’re away, some even like to go home with fresh clothing at the end of their vacation.

If your rental does not have a laundry room of its own, it’s important to let your guests know if there is a coin-operated laundromat nearby or down the street. Whatever the situation is, provide clear directions for your guests’ ease. Make sure you have a washing line or drying rack on hand for those more delicate items, as well!

41. An iron and clothing storage

An iron and an ironing board are must-haves for wrinkly clothes coming out of suitcases. Provide a simple suitcase stand in the closet so guests don’t have to bend to the ground to sort through their suitcase, and leave plenty of empty hangers in the closet. A chest of drawers is an added benefit for many guests unpacking their belongings.

42. Shoe and coat rack

Encourage your guests to prevent inside spaces from getting dirty in the first place by providing them with storage space for dirty boots and wet coats right upon entrance.

43. Scented products

In addition, you could buy a room spray and hang a deodorizer block in the toilet. These products might not necessarily improve the hygiene of your vacation rental but an orderly environment that also smells pleasant will further enhance the feeling of cleanliness and comfort.

44. Vacation rental safe

It’s imperative that guests feel secure during their stay. Beyond the standard steps to prevent vacation rental burglary, guests want to make sure their own belongings are safe inside your home. Including a vacation rental safe in the bedroom or closet spaces will allow guests to lock up what’s important to them without fear so they can carry on with enjoying their vacation.

Important versus avoidable amenities

The budget and the segment that the home buyer belongs to, also play an important role in deciding whether certain amenities are essential or avoidable. An affordable home buyer may feel satisfied with a basic home, without any extra facilities, whereas a luxury home buyer may want more than the amenities that are already provided in a project. For example, a swimming pool, gym, club house, spa, bar, etc., can come under the avoidable list, for affordable home buyers. However, for home buyers in the luxury segment, these could be the basic requirements.

See also: Should you opt for a rental home with lots of amenities or less amenities?

How to Make Your Vacation Rental Stand Out

Travelers are more and more demanding and can filter their searches according to the amenities they like on Airbnb and other vacation rental listing sites. That said, it’s important for your vacation rental properties to offer as many of these requested amenities as possible. 

Getting a pool and renovating (or adding) a kitchen is a lot more complicated than some of the other amenities, but if you’re trying to get your vacation rental to stand out from the competition, you may want to concentrate on quick wins and vacation rental supplies. Analyze what you currently offer and what you can do to offer even more based on your target audience.

Here are some of the most important amenities you can provide at your vacation rental and that you can also add as an extra bonus.

Needs must-haves in a home

Ultimately, “needs” and “must-haves” are things that every homebuyer needs when deciding on their new home. If a home doesn’t meet these needs, it’s automatically a bad fit. 

Location 

Consider the commute times of the job location. This can save people hours of driving back and forth. Each home buyer will have different priorities when it comes to location. Some may prefer a further distance from work but closer to their child’s school district, where the neighborhood is much safer. Evaluate what locations are livable and which ones aren’t.  

Space 

Always consider the space needed in a new home. There are also many types of homes to choose from, such as single-family homes, townhouses, condos, and duplexes. Depending on how long a person plans to live in their new home, they’ll need to think about their future family’s size. Consider the number of bathrooms, bedrooms, storage rooms, and yard space needed. 

Budget

Always have a budget ready before shopping for houses. A home must fall within the price range of a home buyer; otherwise, it’s a waste of time to even look at it. The budget should be a home buyer’s first deal-breaker. Every home buyer should evaluate how much they qualify for a home mortgage from a lender. This usually comes down to their annual household income, credit score, and total down payment they’re willing to put down. 

Home showings open houses

We love looking at houses — there’s a joy to it that cannot be substituted.

Walking through a home and trying to see yourself living there is fun. What color would you paint the walls? How would you arrange your furniture? What would it be like to have friends over? How would you fix that hideous bathroom?

In many cases, you’ll walk in and realize a house just isn’t the one. It looked good online, but in person, the floor plan makes the place feel like the Winchester Mystery House.

This part of the process can get draining after a while, which is why patience is vital. It’s easy to get frustrated and give up, or worse, make an offer on the house you’re not excited about.

There are a few things we recommend doing for every house you are at least somewhat interested in.

  • Using our checklist can be a huge help!
  • Take notes about each property as you walk through it. Listing information doesn’t always capture things like appliances, garage space, laundry room info, etc. Make sure you “fill the gaps” so you can reference the information later when trying to determine your offer price.
  • Be sure to take a ton of pictures. You’ll usually have a limited time exploring the home, and it’s not uncommon to see four or five houses in a weekend. Having photos of critical areas of the house will help you weigh your options later.
  • It may also help to take a video as you walk through the home. You can play this back later to remind you where, exactly, that second bathroom was.
  • Pro-tip: Bring a measuring tape and something to capture the measurements with you to showings and open houses. A quick sketch of the floor plan with some rough measurements will always be helpful when weighing your options.
  • Make notes about the area as well. Often, you’ll also learn things that would never be in a listing.
    • Is the house on a busy street with lots of traffic noise?
    • Does the next-door neighbor look like they’re running a junkyard?
    • How motivated is the seller?
    • How old is the roof?
    • Is there an interesting history of the property or the neighborhood?

Finding the right house

House features checklist

House features checklist

Looking for houses can be one of the most fun and frustrating (frustrating?) experiences ever. Having a clear idea of what you want (and what your deal breakers are) can make this process infinitely easier.

If you are shopping with a spouse, significant other, or partner, have this discussion long before you step foot into an open house. Few things are less productive than a couple hashing it out in the living room of a stranger’s home after a long, unsuccessful day of showings.

How long will you be in the home?

One important consideration here is how long you plan to live in your new home. This is where the FOMO kicks in for many people.

You may start thinking, “If I live in one spot for five years, I’ll never be able to make that 18-month around-the-world trip.

How will I make my travel blog where I plank in front of international landmarks?” And to that, we say planking hasn’t been cool since 2011, get it together!

But seriously, people are generally more rooted than they would like to admit. Do you live near family? Close friends? How tied are you to your job? Is your industry rooted in your current city? Any one of these things could keep you in a city long-term.

In many cases, the house is not the thing that anchors you.

Before buying, it’s good to consider at least where life will take you in the next few years. For instance, do you want a dog in the future? Then having a yard may be necessary.

Are you thinking of going freelance or starting a small business? Then you may want some space for a home office or workspace. Plan on having kids anytime soon?

It might be easier to save a little more for your down payment and get that extra bedroom now instead of racing to upgrade your home before your baby comes.

You may even decide to rent that spare room out on a site like Airbnb or Home Away, which could help cover your mortgage payment.

What will you do with the home when you’re ready to leave?

Another consideration is what to do when you’re ready to move out of your new home. Is your goal to convert the home to a rental property when you’re ready to move?

Are you more concerned with making a good investment and having the home appreciate over the next few years? Or is your primary goal to find a home you love?

Even if you aren’t sure, considering your exit scenario may be helpful while you are house hunting.

And if your future goal is to do your around-the-world plank-a-palooza? Perfect! Look for a home in a desirable rental neighborhood. With a bit of effort now, you may be able to make some money every month by renting the home during your trip.

The trick here is understanding what you want and where you’re going in life vs. realizing you’ve missed something after it’s too late. (Admittedly, this is easier said than done.) These are great conversations to have with your realtor and loan officer as well.

If they understand your perspective, they can refine the types of homes or loan products they recommend, making your purchasing process much more efficient. Your team will be firing on all cylinders.

Don’t take what you don’t understand!

The choice of amenities, should be evaluated on the basis of personal preferences, requirements, availability, affordability and exclusivity. Experts recommend that buyers should only opt for something that they are completely aware of and not be lured by rosy pictures painted by home sellers. Amenities always add some fixed or variable cost to the property and this may impact the resale value of the property.

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