10 Things To Search For When Looking For Homes

10 Things To Search For When Looking For Homes

As a case study, West New York, N.J., checks many boxes homebuyers are looking for in Hudson County. Its vibrant community has a small-town vibe that newcomers find warm and welcoming. At the same time, West New York homes are near urban amenities: eclectic restaurants, shopping, arts, lush green parks, swimming pools, and exciting nightlife.

When it’s time to leave town, transportation to Hoboken, Jersey City, and New York is plentiful and easily accessible. Down by the Hudson River, there is a beautiful view of Manhattan. When looking for homes for sale in West New York, N.J., or elsewhere in Hudson County, work with an expert agent and follow the guidelines outlined below.

1. Location

Location is among the most essential points to consider when searching for a home. If you’re a commuter, you will want easy access to transportation. If you’re raising a family, you’ll want to be close to the best schools. And if you’re into arts, culture, and fine dining, you’ll want to be near the epicenters of those experiences.

Luckily, you can choose from several sought-after neighborhoods in the West New York area. Some of the best communities in West New York are Memorial Park, West New York North, West New York South, and Miller Park. Consult an expert local agent on Team Francesco for further insight into West New York neighborhoods.

2. House size

As you determine the ideal neighborhood for you and your family, consider your ideal house size. You can narrow your home search by specifying minimum and maximum square footage. It also helps to decide how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need to live comfortably. Consider kitchen size, dining areas, and extra spaces like home offices, home gyms, or children’s playrooms.

Homes in West New York have differently sized yards, so remember to account for acreage when searching for local homes — the larger your yard, the more maintenance it will require. Architecture also makes a difference: do you want all your rooms on one floor, as in a ranch house, or a Colonial home with multiple floors? Other relevant factors include the house’s age, the type of siding used, and the condition of its roof and foundation. Repairs and replacements can be costly, so ensure you inspect the place before negotiating.

3. Cooling and heating systems

Here are some critical questions to ask regarding your potential home’s A/C, ventilation, and heating systems (HVAC):

  • When was the HVAC system installed?
  • Does the house have baseboard heaters that use electricity?
  • If you’re looking at an older home, does it use a radiator/boiler system?
  • What type of heating system is in the house?
  • Does the house use a forced air system with a furnace? Does that furnace run on gas, electricity, or a different energy source?
  • Does the home use window units, or does it have a central cooling system?

4. Home amenities

When you picture your perfect home, what flooring does it have? Does it have energy-efficient appliances, lighting, and water-conserving shower heads and toilets? Would you like a house with a garage, a deck for entertaining, or a finished basement? While some amenities can be changed or replaced, focus on more expensive features that would be more costly to add on after purchasing the home.

5. Schools

If you are already raising a family or plan to do so, the quality of the nearby schools is paramount. With your agent, research local public or private schools to find out how their students perform. If possible, make in-person visits to local schools to meet teachers, ask questions, and see the curriculum they use. For example, West New York residents are served by West New York School District, which operates several elementary schools, West New York Middle School, and Memorial High School.

6. Cost of living

Taxes and cost of living vary depending on where you live. Ask your agent for estimates of the property and sales taxes you will pay in your county of choice. Property tax bills are based on your home’s assessed value, which is a function of its size, construction, age, and location. You should also investigate utility bills and homeowners insurance.

7. Kitchen layout

The kitchen is like the heart of your home, and its layout should suit your needs. If you love to cook and eat meals in your kitchen, you may opt for an open floor plan; a smaller, more intimate space may be ideal if you're not into cooking. The home appliances in a kitchen are also critical to the optimal use of the area. Home appliances are often expensive to replace, so you may consider opting for a home with newly upgraded energy-efficient appliances.

8. The age of the house

If you’re interested in the character and charm of an older home, there are some critical issues to consider. Older homes may require renovation, heating, plumbing, electrical systems upgrades, repairs, and general improvements. Make sure that if you are committing to an older home, you have the time and financial resources required to complete the necessary work. Building codes also may have changed since the house was built, so do your research and find out if the home you are interested in is up to code.

9. The community

Before moving anywhere, get familiar with the local community scene. Take West New York as an example. What are its best restaurants? Are there places to shop in the city? And what about outdoor activities? Is it feasible to make a day trip to a national park? Look for things you’re passionate about and want to be involved in. West New York prides itself on its small-town feel, and the individuals that make up the community are active in its everyday life.

10. A reputable local real estate agent

When considering homes for sale in West New York, N.J. (or elsewhere in Hudson County), it helps to work with an experienced and trustworthy agent who is familiar with the community and can advise you on the best new homes on the market. So when you’re ready to buy, contact Team Francesco, the area experts at the top real estate team in northern New Jersey, for all your real estate needs.

*Header photo courtesy of Pexels

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