When buying a home, every square foot is important. You are, after all, paying for every square foot, which means that a 2,000-square-foot house with a $200,000 price tag is actually priced at $100 per square foot. What most people don’t realize is that the 2,000 square feet are not all livable spaces. You have to account for the garage, basement, attic, and sometimes, even the yard and driveway. So when buying a home, make sure that you take these three rooms (if they’re all present) into consideration.
Not all homes have basements and attics, but most have a one-car garage at least. Every homeowner will also be looking if the property has a garage, especially since most families have at least one car. If the property doesn’t have a garage, does it have access to street parking? Is the street parking allowed by the homeowners’ association or even the local authorities? If, in the future, the local authorities stopped street parking at all, does the house have a driveway or walkway where the car can be parked?
It’s important to have a functional garage that hopefully has an automatic garage door since that will make it more attractive. Most garages are at the front of the house, so you have to make sure that they will contribute to the overall curb appeal of the property. While a garage is not considered part of the livable space, you can make it functional by turning it into an entertainment area or a home office. A simple renovation project can even turn it into an extra bedroom.
Home buyers often overlook the state of the basement when they are buying a home. For them, they can turn this into a little project anyway. So, what if the basement looks a little worse for wear? That’s still manageable. It doesn’t matter to them that the previous owner hasn’t renovated the basement. This is a little issue that will not affect the value of the property for them. In fact, they can even ask for a discount because the basement was unkempt.
But beware of the pitfalls of an unfinished basement. If the problems are structural, you will spend tens of thousands on them. Make sure that whatever state you found the basement in, it’s purely aesthetical. Structural problems will require hiring a general contractor and renovation work that can take weeks.
You can do a lot of things for the basement. Like the garage, you can turn it into an entertainment room, a pantry area, a storage space, or a home office. If you have kids, a playroom or study room will be nice, too. Some homeowners also opt to turn it into an extra bedroom. A project like that is a huge undertaking, though, so make sure that you’re completely sold to the idea of foregoing the basement for an extra bedroom.
Not many homes still have an attic now, although these were prevalent in the homes in the 80s and 90s. Modern homes seem to have foregone the idea of having attics and instead used that extra space near the roof for a loft. But an attic is still a great idea if you come across a property with one. You can turn the attic into an extra bedroom. Perhaps, your teenager would want the solitude of staying there. Just make sure to insulate the ceilings since the attic can be frigid during winter and sweltering during summer.
Another idea for the attic is to transform it into a hobby area. It can be the quietest room in the house since kids won’t usually be able to climb up the ladder. If you have interests and passions you want to pursue such as knitting or even simply reading a book, the attic is the best place to do that. With a window that overlooks your yard or the neighborhood, it’s a good spot for people-sighting. Sometimes, when the house feels too chaotic, an escape is just what you need.
When buying a home, make sure to check every available space. You need to ensure that you are getting the most out of every square foot of the property that you will buy. Remember that a house is a huge investment, a huge undertaking. You’re going to have to pay for this loan for years. Plus, you need to maintain the property until you’re old and gray or your children all leave for college. In retirement, part of your pension will go to the home for its upkeep. So, don’t take buying any property lightly.