Johnston County Real Estate

Home Search Checklist

Your Johnston County Home Search Checklist

Searching for the perfect home in Johnston County or the Triangle but not sure quite what to look for? Here’s a handy home-search criteria checklist to help you narrow down the extensive list of homes for sale in Johnston County to your absolutely perfect home.

find a location

Location: Find the Perfect Community

You might not know just want kind of home you’re looking for, but you probably know what sort of community you’d like to be in. Would you prefer a big town with lots of activities, or something more secluded? A community surrounded by rolling countryside or filled with suburban ease? How important are nearby amenities, like shopping, dining, and entertainment venues?

You’ll also want to consider where you’ll be working, and, if you have kids, where they’ll be going to school.

find a lender

Baseline Criteria: Establish the Big Checkpoints

One of the most important aspects to buying a home is determining your budget or price range—and finding out how much you feel comfortable spending on housing each month. 

You will also need to determine what size and style of home you’re looking for. How many people will be living in the home? Are you likely to have lots of guests or visitors? And what style of home can best incorporate these needs—single-family, townhome, or condo?

neighborhood amenities

Neighborhood Features: Determine What Surrounds Your Home

Before beginning to search homes, it can be helpful to know which neighborhoods to look in. Finding the perfect home is useless if you don’t like the community around it! Consider what amenities you might want or need in your neighborhood—like a community pool or walking trails, maybe access to a park or lake, or even a shopping center. Some townhome and condo communities will offer things like maintenance or lawn care to help cut down on the amount of labor required by you.

You’ll also want to consider your neighborhood’s location within the town or community. Is important to be close to shopping, dining, and other amenities, or would you prefer to be a little more out in the country? Is easy highway access a must, or are you content to drive surface roads?

what you need

House Features: Establish the Big Needs

Create a list of things you MUST HAVE in a home. For example, you might require a garage or storage shed, or at least plenty of parking. You might care more about the size of the yard, or size of the kitchen. You might need at least three bedrooms to house your family, or perhaps a quiet office area for your work. Whatever it is you NEED your home to have, make sure you establish a list before you start searching.

ideal features

House Details: Hone in on What You Really Want

You have the list of things you really must have in a home. But you’ve probably got some preferences for things you’d like to have, too. Maybe things like the type of flooring or heating and cooling system. Maybe the age of the appliances (or the age of the home as a whole). You might have architectural style preferences, or really want walk-in closets. You might be okay with a neighborhood pool—but really prefer a private one. What features do you like, but not necessarily need?

features you don't want

Dealbreakers: Determine What You Can’t Have

You have your wants and your needs, but that doesn’t mean a home that hits every checkpoint on the list is a must-buy. Now, establish a list of criteria you simply WON’T have in a home. For some, homes needing repairs are a potential fun fixer-upper project, but for many, major repairs are a major no-no. What about minor repairs? Are there some things you’re willing to fix—and some you’re not? Are old appliances a no-go? Is traffic noise or congestion a dealbreaker? Is a long or inconvenient commute to work or amenities not okay?

inspect your home

The Search: Look Before You Buy

Once you’ve established criteria, use an advanced home search tool to narrow down your list to homes meeting only your specific needs (and maybe wants, if the list is still long). Read listings carefully, review pictures, decide which homes check off some of your criteria, and which you can eliminate.

Next, if at all possible, view the home in person. Online photos can be deceptive and words can be misleading. Does that close-up of the front hide the home’s proximity to neighbors? Does “convenient” or “centrally-located” mean “surrounded by traffic” or “overrun with people”? If you can, tour a home twice, once to get a first impression and twice to really go over the details and make sure you still feel the same way.

inspect your home

The Inspection: Before You Make an Offer, Check This!

Just because a home looks perfect from first glance, doesn't mean it is! Before you make an offer on a home, you'll want to walk through and carefully inspect the details of the home. Some things you might want to watch out for: 

  • Windows, flooring, and ceiling that are older or in poor condition
  • Mildew or mold in bathrooms and kitchen (including cabinets)
  • Faulty electrical, heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and insulation
  • Peeling paint or cracks and splits in the siding
  • Signs of bugs, termites, or ants
  • Cracks in the foundation or pool
  • Sagging roofline, holes, or leaks

Need Help Finding a Home in Martin County?

This home search checklist is just the beginning! There’s much to learn about buying a home in Johnston County, from exploring its beautiful communities to searching homes for sale. If you’re thinking of buying a home here, then we’ve got the resources to help you out! Contact us today or start exploring our resources.

Johnston County Home Buying Resources