Mortgage 101: What to Look for When Choosing a Home

When it comes to buying your new home, first you want to know what to look for. Remember, your home is an investment. If you’re planning on living there for the long haul, you want to keep in mind the size of the home, its amenities (and problems), its location, and several other factors. Before moving forward with a mortgage for a particular house, here are the top 10 things you should look out for when choosing a home. 

Mortgage 101: The Location

If this is the home you plan on spending the next couple of decades in, you want to make sure it’s a neighborhood you feel comfortable in. Before saying “yes” to a house, take some time to research its history, school district, flood zones, and proximity to different job opportunities and forms of entertainment. Furthermore, if the home is located near a busy highway, how will that constant noise affect you? During this research phase, you should take a look at any situation that could affect the property’s value should you ever need or decide to sell. Is there something in the neighborhood or close by that could make it lose value at some point? 

While the home itself is important, you can’t underestimate the importance of where it’s located and the effect it’ll have on your ability to get a good night’s sleep, its property value, and the ease of raising your family. 

Signs of Damage

Before you fall in love with a house, you need to look for signs of damage. This could be interior or exterior damage, such as mold, foundation cracks, water damage, and hidden electrical issues. Not only can these things be costly to repair, but they can cause structural damage to your home if left unattended for too long. 

Before moving forward with a house, get an inspection to find out what needs to be repaired and ask your realtor if the seller can fix these things for you if you’re dead set on moving in. 

Mortgage 101: Check for Possible Renovations

While you may need to repair signs of damage, you might also need to consider the likelihood of renovations after you move in. This may include everything from ripping up old carpet throughout the home to updating your kitchen’s cabinets and appliances. If the house requires a ton of renovations to get it to look the way you want, then it may be better to look for a home that has the attributes you’re looking for. Or, at the very least, consider one that would require little overhaul to get it to look how you want. 

Natural Light

Homes that are shrouded in darkness can easily make homeowners feel depressed, anxious, and tired. While this might be able to be fixed with the addition of new windows, homes that are facing away from natural sources of light can be a big deterrent for those who crave a lot of natural light inside their home. 

Mortgage 101: The Home’s Heating and Cooling System 

Before moving forward, you need to find out what kind of heating and cooling system the home offers. Is heat provided by gas or electricity? Does it have a radiator system or central air conditioning? Just because your home’s a bit older doesn’t mean you have to necessarily get rid of these systems; however, if you change your mind and go from a ductless HVAC system to one that uses them, there has to be enough space inside your wall to accommodate them. Little things like this are necessary to discuss and consider should you ever have a change of mind. 

The Home’s Layout


Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash


Often it’s easy to get distracted by what the house looks like if it’s staged with furniture or still has the current owner’s stuff lying around. However, try your best to look past this to see if you truly like the home’s layout. Will it work for your current furniture? Will you have to buy a new couch or dining room set to accommodate the space? Furthermore, take note of the wall outlets. Are there enough for your electronics? Are they available where you envision your desk, lamps, and television being displayed?  

Mortgage 101: Check the Home’s Exterior

Consider things like the home’s roof, foundation, and siding. A damaged roof can easily set you back up to $15,000. Likewise, a cracked or otherwise damaged foundation can be incredibly costly, costing tens of thousands of dollars to repair. While you will want to get an inspection for problem areas you can’t see or are unfamiliar with, take some time to familiarize yourself with other signs of potential damage such as windows that can’t close, sticking doors, or water damage on the rafters or insulation in the attic. 

Size of the House

Take stock of where you’re living now. Is the square footage in the living room, bedroom, or bathroom too small? Take this info and use it to help calculate how much room you need in your new home. Likewise, consider whether you have plans to start a family, work from home, or may eventually need to take in a sick relative. This will help you figure out how many bedrooms you need. If you’re looking for a larger property, take into consideration how much it’ll cost you to furnish. 

Mortgage 101: What About the Yard?

Don’t just look at the inside of the house – take a look at the outside as well. Does the yard have features you like, such as a pool or hot tub? Does it have the space to add those things in the future? If you don’t have a green thumb or don’t want to be bothered with a lot of maintenance, buying a house with a huge yard will mean more time spent mowing it, which may not appeal to you. Just like with everything else, taking stock of what the yard has and what you realistically want to deal with for the next few decades can help you decide between two houses if you’re torn. 

The Bathroom

While you should check for mold in other areas of the house, keep an eye out for it in the bathroom. This is where it’s most common. While you’re examining the bathroom, find out if there are any issues with the water pressure. Check for any other plumbing problems that could otherwise come as a surprise after you move in. 

When You’re Ready to Buy, Call the Team at City Creek Mortgage For Help 

Buying a home is an exciting and rewarding process, which is why knowing what to look out for is so important to making the right decision. When you’re ready to move forward with your new home, contact the pros at City Creek Mortgage to get started. 

Get your custom rate quote in 30 seconds

See your customized rate and fee options without sharing any personal information

See Purchase Rates See Refi Rates