When you’re buying a house, the purchase means more than just a normal transaction. The home will be your safety blanket, your sanctuary, the place where you’re likely to spend more time than anywhere else.
It is important for buyers go into the home-buying process with eyes wide open, but sometimes the excitement of finding that dream residence can shade the realities you could find after moving in.
This is where a member of the Greater Regional Alliance of Realtors® can offer insight and expertise on what buyers may not be factoring into their decision-making process. Before you write an offer, tap the knowledge that only a Realtor® can bring.
A GRAR member can also identify solutions and ideas to these six elements – and more – that buyers often overlook:
Maintenance: Every home will require time and money for upkeep, but there are several areas to identify what could be in store for buyers from time to time. Take a moment to check out the surfaces of the home. Wood siding means painting. A deck will have to be sealed and stained. Brick structures and chimneys could need tuckpointing. Aluminum siding may need annual powerwashing. It’s an investment in yourself to know what type of work could be in a buyer’s future.
Yard work: The lush green trees, the flower beds and the big yard are all so inviting and adorable. Until they’re not. There will be leaves to rake, weeds to pick and grass to cut. Do you enjoy those chores or are you willing to pay for a contractor to do the work for you? Or is there not enough space to make the garden that you’ve dreamed of, build a playset for the kids and stretch out under the stars? Find the home that matches your interests.
Homeowners’ associations: Subdivisions or neighborhoods may have standards and dues that you’ll have to consider. Some only allow certain products to be used on the home’s exterior, or they may restrict fences or limit how and when you can park your vehicles. These clauses are generally beneficial to an area’s appearance, but can stymie some lifestyles.
Inspections and testing: Most purchases will need a home inspection to alert buyers to any problems with the home and its systems. The inspection will give a peace of mind or highlight the need to make minor repairs. That third-party review will estimate the ages of your (new to you) roof, furnace and other items that impact safety and security. What’s not covered, and a Realtor® may advise, is to conduct tests for radon gas, mold and other elements that could affect a family’s well-being.
Commute: While it’s likely buyers are searching neighborhoods with good access to their work, it’s worth a review of what that walk, drive or bus ride will actually be during the morning and evening rush hours. Are there alternate routes in case of construction or traffic jams?
Environmental noise and lighting: Stop, look and listen at the home that you’re considering buying. What you learn may tell you more about whether you’ll enjoy living in the space. Are you in a high-traffic area or is there bleed-over sound from a nearby highway? Does it distract you? Are you near an airport? What about streetlights or where the sun will rise and set?
None of these points should be deal breakers but should be considered when evaluating a home before buying it. Without a GRAR member at your side, these factors could be overlooked.