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You’ve traipsed through countless homes with your realtor and they’re all starting to look alike. Did the one you really liked have the fun play-set in the back yard, or was that the home with the funky green tile in the entryway? Can you live with funky green tile if the home is located in a great school district? Evaluating a house for purchase can be simultaneously exciting, challenging, and overwhelming. Often it’s difficult to look past the home’s current decor and furnishings–whether they be overwhelmingly positive or negative–to form an objective opinion. Take a few deep breaths and review these basics to help you focus on the features that matter most when considering whether or not a particular home is right for you.
When looking at a resale home, don’t get so caught up in the color of the carpet and the condition of the kitchen appliances that you neglect to give the exterior a thorough examination. Structural elements, for example a roof in poor condition, can result in considerable expense and hassle down the road if not addressed with the seller prior to closing. Other aspects of the exterior, such as the home’s orientation on the lot, impact everything from the available amount of natural light to heating and cooling expenses, to the degree of snow accumulation in the driveway. Consider all of these factors that add to the quality of life you can expect in the home:
Imagine your current belongings in the new space. You may find it helpful to take measurements of the existing spaces in your current home and compare them to the rooms in the home under consideration for purchase.
Older homes commonly have only one or two outlets per room, and the ones that exist may not be conveniently located. Consider the need for and expense of hiring an electrician to add additional outlets, or possibly an additional electrical subpanel, as many older homes are simply not equipped to handle the number of electronic devices we now consider an essential part of everyday life.
How much are you prepared to invest in repairs, remodeling, and upgrades to make the home one that meets your needs and expresses your style?
Make a detailed list of items you will want to replace or fix including:
Understand the commitments required by the HOA, including fees, covenants, and other restrictions. Learn which benefits are included with your particular HOA membership; is there a pool or clubhouse? Are trash or internet services included as part of the monthly or annual dues? All HOAs differ, so it pays to be informed.