You’re ready to buy a home, but have you really checked out all of the important pieces? It’s a good idea for any homebuyer to consider potential problems they may run into as a homeowner. Before you make an offer on that cozy cottage or Victorian palace, make sure to check out these top things to look for when buying a home.


The area surrounding your home can be just as important as the house itself. Take the time to get to know your surroundings. The neighborhood needs to meet your expectations. Drive around on weekdays, weekends, during the day and at night. You should feel comfortable in your environment. Talk with neighbors about crime, school districts, and the community. They will have a greater understanding of what it’s like to live in the area.

Curb Appeal

If you enjoy working in the yard in your spare time, a home with a space for gardening may be right for you. You may prefer a home with less maintenance on a smaller lot. You should always look at the exterior features. The exterior of a house can say a lot about how the interior has been taken care of by the previous owner. If the sidewalk or driveway is riddled with cracks or the landscape is very poor, you can generally expect the same upkeep inside.

Size and Floor Plan

Think about how the new space will be used.  A large home can provide extra space and storage, but will cost more to heat and cool. Smaller homes can be more energy efficient but may not have all the space you need. If you are looking to add on to your home or do renovations, it is wise to check the house’s zoning or area disclosure. If you have an idea in mind, mention it to the current owners. They may be able to give you some insight about any structural obstacles they have run into in the past.

Bedrooms and Bathrooms

Before searching for a home, decide how many bedrooms and bathrooms you need. After you’ve decided, only look at properties in your criteria. An extra bedroom is always favorable since it can be used as a home office or guest room. Bathroom remodels are the second most expensive renovation in a house. Check for leaks and cracks in the toilet, bathtub and sink. Carefully inspect the ceiling below the bathroom for damage as well.


Families spend more time in the kitchen than in almost any other room of a home. If your kitchen is the most important room in your home, don’t settle for one that won’t work for your lifestyle. With the average kitchen renovation costing $20,000, it can be the most costly room in a home to remodel. The costs of new cabinets, flooring, counters and appliances can add up quickly.

Before you start house hunting, it’s important to know how much you can afford. Contact a Cornerstone loan officer and start the pre-approval process today.


The above information is for educational purposes only. All information, loan programs and interest rates are subject to change without notice. All loans subject to underwriter approval. Terms and conditions apply. Always consult an accountant or tax advisor for full eligibility requirements on tax deduction.