What To Put On Your House Hunting Checklist

Couple searching for home online
Start smart: Take the first steps toward your dream home!

Buying a home may be one of the most important decisions of your life. Wondering how to start your search may feel a bit daunting. Do you want a ranch-style home or a two-story? Is an open layout important to you? How many bedrooms will you need? What about garage bays? If you’re looking for your dream home, it is essential to identify all your specific wants and needs. That’s why creating a house hunting checklist with everyone you plan to live with is a terrific first step in the homebuying process. Doing so will enable you to discuss, pinpoint and search for all the features that will make you fall in love with your new home.

We recommend that you write your checklist on a piece of paper, or electronically on your phone or tablet, so that you can carry it with you as you look at homes to be sure that you aren’t forgetting any important needs in all the house-hunting excitement.

So, what kind of items should be on your house hunting checklist?


  • Ideal number of bedrooms (2+, 3+, 4+, etc.)
  • Ideal number of bathrooms (1.5, 2+, 3+, etc.)
  • Garage capacity (1-car, 2-car, 3-car, RV Garage, etc.)
  • Type of house (Ranch-style, two-story, paired/duplex home, etc.)

What do you want in a floor plan? Examples:

  • Primary suite with a private bathroom
  • Kitchen open to great room
  • Laundry close to bedroom
  • Storage space in garage
  • Deck or patio
  • Study/den

What special features are you seeking? Examples:

  • Hardwood floors
  • Air conditioning
  • Walk-in pantry
  • Technology package
  • Energy-efficient construction
  • Low-maintenance landscaping

Neighborhood details:

  • Ideal commute time
  • Cities/communities you’re considering

Location preference examples:

  • Freeway access
  • Close to work/work opportunities 
  • Close to shopping and dining
  • Homesite backing to open space

Amenities and other things you might look for:

  • Quality schools
  • Community pool, fitness center, etc.  
  • Parks/playground nearby
  • Proximity to airport, hospital, etc.

Following a checklist like this can help you find a home that fits your wants, needs and lifestyle. It also can be helpful to make notes after you tour each home so that you can remember specifics even after some time has passed or you’ve looked at multiple homes. Best of luck in your home search!

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Collage of homebuyer guide covers, including First-time Homebuyer Guide and Floor Plan Basics Guide.