With each home viewing, you’re probably looking for a gut feeling in the first few moments that says this could be the one. Before making up your mind based on all the attractive finishes, it’s essential to pay attention to the less exciting parts of the home as well. Ignore the practical and you may end up with a home that doesn’t suit your needs. Or just as disappointing, you could inherit expensive problems not discovered until after you’ve moved in.
Practical Points to Consider
Layout. Consider the flow of rooms and how you prefer to live in your home. If you’ve been searching for an open layout but find a property where the kitchen is closed off, the home may not be right for you. Even if the kitchen has new cabinetry and appliances, ask yourself if that is enough to overcome being walled off from the living room. While layout often can be reconfigured, don’t minimize the time and cost involved to do so.
Space. Are the rooms big enough for your family? Your furniture? Gatherings? Take measurements if you’re not sure.
Privacy. Check out the proximity of the home to the neighbors. Some buyers prefer backyard privacy to an open yard that looks directly into another home.
Renovations. Does most of the house meet your expectations for modern style, or will you need to invest in major renovations? Usually buyers can expect to change simple things, such as paint color or faucet fixtures. But how much renovation are you willing to pay for on top of your offered price?
Cellular reception and Internet Speed. How’s the cell reception? Check this out with your phone at the viewing. If you plan to work from home, having a dead spot in the designated office space could be a problem. If in a rural area, check to ensure you’ll have the internet and cellular service required for your needs.
Future Value. Is this a property that has potential to increase in value? Or is it currently overvalued? Make sure your Realtor informs you of what other similar homes are selling for in the same vicinity. While a desirable location usually guarantees future salability, the condition of a home and all it has to offer also counts toward value.
Mechanics, mildew, and mold. While the inspection period of a home transaction will enable an expert to evaluate the home’s mechanics, you should still take time on your first viewing to examine the nuts and bolts. It’s important to know the age of the roof and HVAC system. These are some of the more expensive items of the home that do need replacement over time or due to neglect. While you might not be able to see all of the roof, certainly missing shingles and a hanging gutter will be red flag signs of deferred maintenance. And if you notice mold or mildew, these are signs of water intrusion. You’ll want to find the source of the intrusion and how extensive any damage may be.
Enjoy the excitement of viewing what the housing market has to offer in your area. While inside, don’t get so caught up in the lovely features that you forget to look at the furnace, the AC, and the roof. Check all of the nitty gritty details mentioned above so that you’re fully informed about your purchase decision. Informed choices allow you to make a solid offer with assurance that you did due diligence in your home search.
Real Estate Term of the Week
Deferred Maintenance: The practice of postponing maintenance activities such as repairs and upkeep on a home. The failure to perform needed repairs could lead to malfunction of mechanics and a decline in home value. Generally, continued deferred maintenance may result in higher costs, and in some cases, health and safety implications.