As the events of the last few years in the real estate industry show, people forget about the tremendous financial responsibility of purchasing a home at their peril. Here are a few tips for dealing
10 Questions To Keep In Mind When Shopping For A Home
When shopping for a new home, you spend a lot of time online, go to a lot of open houses and talk a lot to your real estate agent. Why? Because you’re looking for the best home for the best price, a home that meets the needs on your wish list.
As a potential buyer, this focus can hinder you from looking at a property years down the road as a seller. Here are 10 questions to keep in mind when shopping for a home:
1. Is this home in a great location?
location of the home (specifically, the town where it is located)
the school district it is located in
the neighborhood it is located in
location of the home on the block
location of the home on the lot
Yes, when it comes time to sell, location, location, location matters, a lot!
Real estate markets rise and fall, but your home’s great location cannot be taken away from you. Your home’s number 1 and number 2 star selling points, the kitchen and main bathroom, may be the most dreadful looking rooms ever and your home the most unattractive house in town. But if your home is in a great town, in a good school district, in a wonderful neighborhood, on an awesome block, on the perfect lot, it will be highly desirable to potential buyers.
2. Is this home in a good school district?
A good school district is tops on a potential buyer’s list of what’s most important to them. Many buyers will only search for homes in the school district they want to be in. Parents want their kids in the best schools with the best teachers. But what if you don’t have school-aged children? It’s still smart to purchase a home in a good school district because good schools:
drive up the prices of homes within their districts
help homes hold their value within their districts
3. Is this home positioned well on the lot?
Here’s where you want to think about possible light or privacy concerns as a seller:
Where does the home sit on the street?
Are overgrown trees on the lot?
Is this condo an end unit or an interior unit?
Does the neighbor’s house interfere with the view of the main living area?
Does the master bedroom look into the neighbors’ family room or vice versa?
4. Is this home located in or near a high-crime area?
A quick internet search to check the latest crime figures for the neighborhood a home is located in is a good idea. Not many people think about checking these much-needed neighborhood statistics. It will give you a good idea about the amount of crime and the kinds of the crimes committed in a neighborhood. Talk with your real estate agent about crime statistics for the neighborhood you are looking to live in.
5. Does this home have “walkability”?
Walkability is a hot item in the search process nowadays. It is important to people to live in a walkable neighborhood. Being able to walk to school, work, public transportation and stores holds much value to potential buyers. It will only grow in value to people as we move away from cars and into public transportation in the next 10-15 years. Visit https://www.walkscore.com/ to find a home’s walkability score.
6. Does this home’s neighborhood have good character?
Open your eyes to more than the home. Look “around” the home. Visit the neighborhood and areas surrounding the home you’re interested in. Check out the areas in the early morning, middle of the day and late at night. Observe the neighbors. Does the next-door neighbor work on race cars, revving engines late at night during the week? Pay attention to the direction the wind blows. For example, does it blow directly into the front door? If so, not fun, especially when you live where it snows in the winter months!
7. Is this home the best house on the block?
Believe it or not, you should avoid buying the best house on the block. Why? Because you may not be able to grow your investment. Purchasing the worst house on the best block allows you to add value to a great location.
8. Is this home a fixer-upper?
There’s much to consider if the home you are looking to purchase is a fixer-upper. Do you really understand what you’re getting into? It’s time to do your “home”work.
Will you want to add an extension or another story to the home? Make sure it is built to code and within local zoning code.
Have a home inspection done on the house. Sometimes a small job can turn into a huge and costly project.
Renovation projects can take a toll on a family. Can your life support the money, time energy and emotional stress renovation takes?
9. Is this home able to hold its value?
Your real estate agent can vouch for the long-term value and potential for investment of a home because he is good at his job! He knows the neighborhood. You’ll want to think of ways to add value to a home yourself to help the home hold its value.
10. What taxes, dues and fees are associated with this home?
Monthly expenses, property taxes, homeowners association (HOA) dues are sometimes overlooked. Make sure the amount of property tax and assessments are clear from the very beginning of the home buying process. Check meeting minutes for the condo complex you are interested in. Get the financials of the HOA and condo documents as well. Are there any changes coming to the HOA? Is it well-funded? These are things you need to know because uncertainty about the building, its integrity or its financials could keep a potential buyer from buying when it’s time to sell.
Your real estate agent, Sam Lepore, can help you when shopping for a home. He'll help you find the best home for the best price, a home that meets the needs on your wish list. He'll help you look at a property years down the road as a seller, too.Call Sam today at(856) 297-6827.
Sam Lepore is a Realtor with Keller Williams in Moorestown, NJ. Call him today at 856.297.6827 ....