If you are in the market for a new home, you may watch the various television programs, showcasing potential homeowners searching from their dream house. Unfortunately, those shows usually feature extremely picky couples, who quibble over everything from the paint color to size of the backyard. While the show might be entertaining, complaining over some elements might be a little over the top, especially if you can change those elements.
However, there are a few things you should look out for that may become dealbreakers. As a potential homeowner, it is okay to voice your disapproval over them. Check out some of the things to look out for.
If you have children or are expecting in the near future, you probably want to expand. Conversely, if you now have an “empty nest”, you might want to downsize. Regardless, space is going to be at the top of your list of concerns. Think of everything you will move into the new home. As you walk through the house, keep in mind a list of everything you intend to pack and bring with you. If the house is empty, plan in advance where you want to place your furniture or fixtures like bookshelves.
Appliances and Fixtures
While dated paint or wallpaper are easy to remove, things like an older stove or built-in fixtures that seem out of place might be a little more difficult. As the homeowner, you of course have the option to knock out a bookcase or chandelier you do not like, but do you want to spend the extra money? In the case of that or older appliances, consider making a lower offer to offset the money you may have to spend.
You likely place safety at the top of your list, so be sure to look into the history of your neighborhood or community. Various sites offer a detailed report of any crime that happened in the neighborhood and nearby. The local police department also puts out a daily or weekly crime report, so check with the precinct as well.
For your children, you also want the best schools, so look around to see what school zone you would live in, and find the ratings online.
Does your commute factor into the neighborhood you select? How about public transportation? Do you want to live near a beach or away from the Interstate? Any or all of these should also be considered, and be honest with yourself. If you do not want to spend an hour in traffic or hear planes from the local airport, chances are you may have to look elsewhere. Sure, you could eventually get used to it, but that is up to you.
Chances are you may purchase the home “as is”, where what you see is what you get and you are responsible for making repairs. If you are not very handy, you may not want an as is. In the case of a foreclosure, the former homeowner may also inflict a little retaliatory damage on the home. Your realtor should disclose any such info to you, but if you buy at auction, beware that not all listings allow you to view the home in advance.
Your search for a home does not have to be as cumbersome as the ones you see on TV. If it does, just tell yourself that you can always change a lot of the things you do not like. And who knows, it may actually grow on you over time! Also, do not let the “reality” shows reflect how the decision-making process plays out in real life.