Home buying – probably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make in your life and, by far, one of the most stressful.
If you are choosing right, your new home will be a source of eternal happiness and relaxation, if you are not careful, though, there’s a lot of head-ache on the road for you.
This is why we have compiled a list of things to look for in a new home and, afterwards, a list of what to avoid, when home buying.
What to look for when home buying:
- the house you are looking at is the least expensive house in a very nice neighborhood.
- the house is at the end of the block or a cul-de-sac. There will be less traffic.
- backs up to land that is zoned residential, or a forest, or water.
- is in a very good school zone. Unless you are and intend to remain childless, this should be one of the main things to look for
- is reasonably close to fire departments and hospitals, so that help can arrive fast, when needed
- is reasonably close to the grocery store or work.
- has a large kitchen, walk-in closets, high ceilings
- has at least a two car garage.
- has upgraded appliances, higher efficiency A/C, good insulation.
Stay away from houses that
- are adjacent to commercial property, shopping centers, or any property zoned for business.
- are on or near a busy street – it could be noisy.
- have flat roofs. They will hold standing water and will leak.
- is the biggest, most expensive house in the neighborhood.
- are next door to rental homes.
- are in bad school zones.
- in noisy areas, like near an airport or industrial area.
- in or near a high crime area.
- are in neighborhood with high homeowners association fees or rules that you feel you will not be able to live with.
- is in an area prone to flooding when it rains. Visit the house during rain.
- have only one bedroom, they can be hard to sell, even 2 bedroom homes can be more difficult to sell than a 3 bedroom home.
- are near low speed limit school zones.
- do not have any code enforcement, ie. boats, RV’s, commercial vehicles, etc.
- do not have central heat and air conditioning.
- is on a steep hill, especially in northern states.
- is on an overpriced “premium view” lot.
- only has a one car garage.
- are in neighborhoods where property values have not increased very much.
- only have one bathroom.
- has very few or tiny closets.
- has a very unusual architectural design. It may be difficult to resell.
- is anywhere within 2 miles of a landfill or a water treatment plant.
- in on a lot that gets headlights of cars turning onto the street at night.
- in on a street that is hard to access, ie. long traffic light, busy, intersection, or a street that you have to drive past then make a U-turn.
It is a very good idea to talk to people who live in the neighborhood or area that you are considering.
Most people love to talk and they will be more than happy to let you know the pros and cos of the area.
If you are moving into a one-builder neighborhood, you can get a good idea of how well the houses are built and how responsive the builder is (if it’s a new home) by talking to neighbors.
Your realtor might know the basic info about a neighborhood, but the residents have the real scoop!
You can also find out the story on the particular house by talking to the neighbors.
They can give you an idea of how long the house has been on the market, because in most cases, this information is not offered in the listing sheet.
If the house has been on the market for a very long time in a desirable neighborhood, there may be something seriously wrong with the property.
You may be able to find out the story with the sellers.
Are they anxious to sell because they are being transferred and need to be in their new town next month?
Is it a divorce situation?
Sometimes you can make an offer based upon being privy to the sellers situation.
If the seller is in a situation where they need to sell very quickly, they may be willing to take less with a quick closing.