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Everyone has their own wish list of the elements that make up an ideal property. Some features are must-haves; others are merely bonuses that boost a property's appeal. The problem is, with so many homes on the market, it's easy to get distracted by glossy features. What you really need to figure out is: does the location tick all the boxes? Does the property have good bones? Can you grow there, as a family, or will you have to move again in a few years' time?

Whether you're looking for a starter home, a family home or a holiday home, this comprehensive checklist can help you remember the things to consider when you start viewing potential homes.  

The Essentials

  • Do you have your mortgage loan approved? What is the maximum price you can afford?
  • How many bedrooms do you need?
  • How many bathrooms do you need?
  • Do you need parking provision? Garage, car-port or on-street parking?
  • Do you need garden space?
  • Do you need a house in near-perfect condition? How much time and/or money are you prepared to spend fixing problems, redecorating and so on?

The Neighborhood

  • Are the schools good, the crime rate low and the employment rate high? 
  • Is the public transport service adequate for your commute or other daily activity? Have you measured the distance to work and school? 
  • Does the neighborhood have adequate infrastructure such as shops, parks and medical centers?
  • Is the area on the way up or on the way down? 
  • Is the property in an area likely to hold resale value? Will the property benefit from capital growth?
  • Are there any big developments or new road construction planned that could alter the character of the neighborhood? You can find out this information from the city. 
  • Will you have problems with traffic or noise?
  • Are there any industries, airports or railways in the area that could create traffic, noise or pollution?
  • Will you enjoy living in the neighborhood?

The Details

  • Is the house structurally sound?
  • Are the exterior and interior finishes in good condition or do you have the budget to fix them up?
  • Are the rooms big enough?
  • Is the lot big enough?
  • Are you happy with the property's security?
  • Are the property's boundaries clearly demarcated and fenced?
  • Does the kitchen have sufficient cupboard space and food preparation space?
  • Is the property built for the climate? Is it insulated? Are there adequate heating and cooling systems?
  • Is the property suitable for your family, for example, children, seniors or pets?
  • Is the house suitable for your stage in life? Might you struggle with the stairs in a few years' time, or is the garden space too small?
  • For condominiums, are the communal spaces well maintained? Is there adequate parking?
  • How much property tax will you have to pay?
  • Does the entire property, including alterations, have the required building permits?
  • Are there any other long-term costs associated with the property, such as housing association fees or jointly-owned driveways?

Keep the checklist handy when you are searching for homes, and don't waste your time on properties that fall short of your requirements. Then, when you find a property that fits your requirements all you have to worry about is moving in.

Seven Touch-Ups to Help Sell Your House


1. Door Detail
If you want buyers to come rushing to your door, make sure it's well painted. A fresh coat of paint will make a great first impression.

2. Enticing Entrance
Next up is the entrance hall, where prospects get their initial glimpse of the interior. At the very least, clean every surface and touch up areas where the paint shows marks or nicks. Better yet, put on a fresh coat of neutral-colored paint throughout.

3. Bathroom Brush-Up
Bathrooms and kitchens get special scrutiny from prospective buyers, so give extra attention to these rooms. Touch up as needed and put plenty of effort into the powder room, which many will visit during their tour of your home.

4. Classy Kitchen
Size does matter when it comes to the kitchen. If you want to make your kitchen look spacious, then paint the kitchen white or off-white. At the very least, remove food stains from the walls and conceal water spots by applying a coat of primer followed by some touch-up paint.

5. Wow-Worthy Woodwork
Check your woodwork. You can quickly touch up chipped or marred paint on chair rails and floor molding.

6. Sweat the Small Stuff
Inspect areas that come in frequent contact with soiled hands―especially window frames, door frames, edges of doors, and walls around light switches. If the areas are dirty, you may be able to clean them, assuming you used a glossier paint. If that doesn't work, then do some touch-up painting.

7. Smooth Ceiling
Water stains on the ceiling from old roof leaks are a huge red flag for prospective buyers. After making certain that your roof is sound, be sure to prime and repaint these potential deal breakers.

To learn more about paints and painting, visit

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Contact Information

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Tom Smith Team
Coastal Properties Group International
423 Mandalay Ave., #102
Clearwater Beach FL 33767
(727) 776-3375