Sometimes finding the perfect home in the Montpelier/Barre area is like falling in love. You can't describe ahead of time what you're looking for, but when it hits you, you know. I'm a romantic at heart, but more often, there's some real thinking and list making that goes into finding the perfect house. Usually more than with falling in love. Usually. It's a good idea to go through these lists with everyone who's going to have a say in the homebuying process. Some buyers like to go through this exercise separately, and then see how they compare. It can be interesting to see what's important to different people. (Wait--why do we need a third bedroom??) Here are some key things to keep in mind when looking to buy a home in the Montpelier area. With each of these, think about not only if they're important, but how important. Could you live without a first floor laundry, but simply not even consider a home that doesn't have a master bedroom? Location 1. Town--Which town(s)? 2. Distance--Walking distance to town, bicycling distance, or out in the country? 3. Yard--How much yard or land are you looking for? 4. Schools--Which school districts do you want? 5. Amenities--Is having paved roads, or town water and sewer important to you?
Type of House 1. Construction--wood frame, log home, manufactured, etc. 2. Condition--well-maintained, some deferred maintenance, fixer upper? Another way to think of this is to think of your preferred tools: Sledge hammer and respirator? Paintbrush and screwdriver? Leather sofa and lemonade? 3. Style--single family, multi-family, 1 story, 2 story, cape, colonial, raised ranch, manufactured, farmhouse, Victorian, yurt, etc. 4. Garage--attached, detached, 1 car, 2 car, shop, heated, etc. 5. Basement--finished, finishable, neither? 6. Porch? Deck? Sunroom? 7. Any special requirements for out buildings? 8. Age--new, mid-century, older, very old
Features of the House 1. Size--approximate square footage 2. Lifestyle--what's important to you? Entertaining guests, large bedrooms, separate spaces, etc. 3. Kitchen--eat-in, updated, level of finish 4. Dining Room--formal, informal, kitchen-dining combo 5. Bedrooms--number, size, 1st floor needed, master suite, any special furniture needs 6. Bathrooms--number of full, half, etc. 7. Accessory Unit--in-law apartment 8. Any special storage or closet needs? 9. Laundry/mudroom--1st floor laundry needed? 10. Fireplace/Stove 11. Heating System--oil, gas, wood, hot water, hot air, solar 12. Electrical System--any special requirements? 13. Plumbing--town water and sewer or well and septic tank?
Price Range--Think about a down payment and a mortgage. If you haven't talked with a lender yet to get pre-approved for a mortgage, go ahead and get started. We can give recommendations for good local lenders. Price is important. A wise person once said, "The perfect house is the one that's just out of everyone's price range." True! Not knowing what you can and want to pay for housing is going to result in a confused property search. The best thing to do is to run through your numbers, and get a solid idea as to what price range you're looking for.