What to look for when buying a house

Looking for a new home isn’t like shopping for groceries or searching for a new pair of shoes. Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you will make, so you want to be sure you take everything into consideration. After all, you’re planning to spend years of your life in this new building. It’s where you’ll come home to each day, make new memories, potentially start or grow a family in, get a job close by, and so on. 

Here are a few things we recommend considering before purchasing your dream home: 


When it comes to buying a house, location is everything. Consider the cost of living in your area – Is it higher or lower than where you’re currently living? Is it something that you can maintain? Is the cost of living exponentially or gradually increasing in that area? Raleigh-Durham and surrounding areas are known for having a lower cost of living compared to most major U.S. cities. In fact, that is just one of the reasons why Raleigh-Durham is one of the best places to live in the nation. 

Next, consider this home’s proximity to work and recreational activities. Does the preference for one outweigh the other? Is there a home that offers both close proximity to work and close proximity to restaurants, museums, parks, and so on? 

Lastly, consider the quality of schools and safeness of the neighborhood if you’re looking to start or grow a family in this home. Is this somewhere you see your kids thriving in school? Is this somewhere you would feel comfortable at all hours of the day and night? 

For a more in-depth look at what the Triangle and surrounding cities have to offer, check out our Areas page! 


One of the first steps in buying a home is determining how much you can spend. After all, a lender is only going to give you what they know you can pay back. What’s an easy way to calculate this? Just multiply your annual gross income (what you make before taxes) by 2.5. 

Once you’ve got an idea of what you think you can spend, you can start reaching out to lenders to get pre-approved. Then, you’ll need to make a plan to save for a down payment and closing costs, as well as any new or ongoing expenses once you’ve made the move! Using a mortgage calculator will also help you better visualize costs for a down payment and monthly mortgage and assist in determining the price range to look within when searching for your new home.

Home Style & Size

When searching for your new home, there is a wide variety of home styles to consider – single-family homes, condominiums and apartments, townhomes, duplexes, and so on. Consider what you need in a home, both in the short and the long term. As your household grows, your needs may change, so think ahead in terms of how much room you may need (i.e. square footage, bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.). Furthermore, consider the space available for expansion if your home does not fit those long-term needs.  

Property Condition

Property condition will play a huge factor in how much you are willing to spend on a new home. Evaluate whether you’re looking for a home that is move-in ready or one that needs repairs. If you’re interested in purchasing a fixer-upper, evaluate the scope of work ahead of you and consider how much that will cost. Once you painted a clear picture of this, determine what you are willing to spend to secure the property. 

Home Amenities

You want your new home to pair well with your lifestyle. Take a moment to evaluate your must-haves when it comes to home amenities and stick to those. Are you someone who loves to cook? Pay close attention to the kitchen space. Are you someone who thoroughly enjoys the outdoors? Determine whether you want a porch, patio, or backyard to spend your time. 

Below are a few questions to get you started when considering what amenities and features are a must-have in your new home: 

  • What bathroom features are important to you? 
  • How much storage and closet space will you need? 
  • Do you want an open layout in your home? 
  • Do you want a formal dining room? 
  • What floor would you prefer the master bedroom to be on? 
  • What kind of appliances and countertops do you want? 

Now that you’ve considered all options and made your list of wants and needs, you’re ready to begin the house hunt! Contact us today if you’re looking to start the home search process in the Triangle and surrounding areas.