If you’re house hunting, don’t forget to cast a keen eye over some of these features.
When looking to buy, most of us start with our wish list of essentials: from location to the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, to whether there is a garage and a decent-sized kitchen.
However, there are other desirable features you may consider when making the purchase.
Here are a few things to keep your eye on.
1. Quality window coverings
Window coverings tend to stay with the house. Whether they are blinds, awnings, shutters or curtains, they are an important fixture to the house, and make an impact on the look and feel of the home more than one might realise.
While aesthetics are one factor, such as the fabric colour, texture and vane sizes, there are plenty of functional aspects to consider when assessing a home’s window coverings.
For instance, do the window coverings provide optimal light and shade? Are they durable and child and pet-friendly? Is there a more tech-savvy product that can be smart-home integrated that makes life easier, like motorised shades?
Not a fan of the window coverings that are part of the deal? The good thing is, these are easier to update than say, cabinetry and flooring. Nowadays, window coverings come in a wide range of formats and operating modes, making it easier to customise for your lifestyle and home. The Luxaflex Softshades range of window coverings are custom made to suit every window and interior design, allowing you to gently diffuse the light in the room whilst maintaining privacy.
2. Kitchen fixtures and appliances
“Kitchens sell homes,” interior designer Emma Blomfield says, confirming the old industry adage.
“Are all the fixtures and fittings good quality or will they need updating? If you’re making a big purchase, you need to make sure that it’s going to work for the long term.”
Consider the most expensive items that will remain in the home, such as appliances like the oven, cooktop and likely the dishwasher. Most appliances that aren’t fixed will probably go with the previous owner but check your contract and don’t assume.
Of any remaining appliances, consider if they’re energy efficient or likely to add significantly to your bills. The older they are, the more they are likely to suck electricity.
Naturally, we haven’t even started on plumbing, but enlist a reputable and thorough building inspection to verify everything is in safe, working order.
3. Sustainable features
Note any other sustainable features in the home, as these could save you a tonne of cash over the time you spend living in this home.
Does it have water-saving shower heads? Does it have solar? How does it sit in orientation to the sun? (Generally, a north or north-east facing aspect is most desirable as this allows you to take advantage of natural light and heat.)
Double glazed windows, cross ventilation and insulating window coverings can also help with heating and cooling, making a home more energy efficient in the long run.
Consider if the flooring in your potential new home suits your style and lifestyle. This can be particularly important if you have pets and/or kids.
Personal taste, ease of cleaning and durability are typically the biggest considerations when it comes to floors.
For instance, you may love a light-coloured carpet in your living room, but will it be the best choice if you’re moving in with a dog or have young kids?
The good news is, flooring isn’t difficult to change (unless we’re talking tiles, of course).
Nowadays, a high-quality laminate or hybrid timber flooring not only looks as good as hardwood floors, but are in a lot of cases better as they won’t scratch as easily or warp with moisture.