Home Buyer Checklist: Six Tips to a Great Home!

Ian Bush
Published on July 29, 2016

Home Buyer Checklist: Six Tips to a Great Home!

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Many home buyers are very diligent when it comes to studying up before they make their purchase. However, far too often, six very important things go overlooked. These common oversights can result in you losing money, wasting time, and cause unnecessary regret. Now, let’s make sure you know about these common oversights, so you can make sure they don’t happen to you, Mr. and Ms. Home Buyer!

1. What’s the Resale Value?

In today’s housing market, home buyers aren’t staying in their homes the full 30 years like most of the generation did before us. Life changes quickly; people are moving around and valuing flexibility more and more. This is why it’s important for home buyers to immediately consider the re-sale value of the property they’re considering.

Try and land something with a wider range of appeal, rather than a unique home that might only pique your personal interest. You might even want to discuss patterns that your real estate agent has seen in the surrounding area. Buying a home should feel right but it should also be a practical investment. Let your heart influence your decision but allow practicality a place in the decision-making process.

2. Focusing on the Wrong Expenses

Home buyers often focus so intently on the mortgage payment that they forget about additional expenses that are sure to come up. Of course, the closing costs and mortgage payments are important but make sure you’ve taken into account the other costs associated with owning this particular home. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask the seller for an expense list so you can plan accordingly.

3. Zoning Restrictions

Home buyers often finalize their purchase before they’ve actually researched the type of restrictions they’ll have to work with. Sometimes you find that you can’t add a room because of zoning laws, or you realize that you’d have to park down the street! “Restrictions” can often be completely overlooked and they can really put a damper on the vision you had for your new home. Be sure to discuss any type of restrictions in terms of remodeling or just all around life with the home with your agent.

4. Home Buyer Inspection

Home buyers can so often get wrapped up in the excitement of the “perfect home” that they neglect to look into the previous construction or renovations that took place. This is only an issue if the work wasn’t up to the proper standards. While everything might look fine now, you could find yourself spending excessive amounts of money to repair a problem later. Make sure you look into the work that went into your home to ensure it was properly inspected and passed said inspection.

Pro Tip: Get that home inspection! Good home inspectors will walk you through the home, answer your questions and ensure you know your new home.

5. Homeowners Association (HOA)

This really just comes down to proper due diligence. Never ever…ever close on your home without doing proper due diligence. Typically HOA’s making your living conditions much easier but occasionally you’ll run into some unexpected drama and chaos. There are even instances of potential fines levied by HOAs.

Pro Tip: In Virginia, a home purchase requires that the seller provide a HOA disclosure packet, make sure you receive it, review it within the first 3 days and decide that it will work for you. 

6. Study the Neighborhood!

Make sure you look at the crime rates, schools in the area, commute times, etc. These might sound pretty straightforward to you but you’d be surprised by the type of information that gets overlooked! Discuss these concerns with your agent as well as any other type of info you should be considering to make the best possible decision. This home is an important investment and you need to ensure you’re making a well-informed decision.

Pro Tip: On this site, look for the school finder tool called Cruvita, which is next to each listing. Check out the schools that are in your new home’s area to confirm you have a good one.

Consider these six tips and you will be well on your way to the home of your dreams! If you have any questions about these tips, contact me for more assistance!

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Home Buyer Checklist: Six Tips to a Great Home!
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