Real Estate Is More Than Just Location, Location, Location

What Home Buyers Should Look For When Picking Out Their Dream Property

As we meet first time home buyers and sellers in our real estate business, we find that some come in with certain Things to think about when buying a homepreconceived notions as to how the process works. We talked previously about how buyers should prepare before beginning their home search, but what should they think about WHILE they are looking?

Home buying is one part motivation and one part preparation

Being prepared financially to purchase a home is one thing, but what about being prepared mentally? Remember that the property you purchase is not only a place to live in, but also an investment. Here are some steps to consider as you prepare to begin your home search.

Agree beforehand on what kind of property you want

This of course is assuming you are making a purchase with a spouse, significant other, or co-investor. Draw the lines beforehand on a price range (based on your loan pre-qualification which we KNOW you did before you began your home search). Also consider whether you are looking for, or will consider, various property types such as single family residence, condominium, Planned Unit Development, etc. Think about how many bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, lot size, and amenities such as swimming pool you may want.

Consider the Location

Yes, location (location, location) is very important, but it’s not the only thing that should be driving your choice of home. While we’re on the subject, considering location can play a factor in the home’s value, and the value of the investment once you make your purchase. Corner lots, homes that back up to busy street traffic, homes across the street (or very near) a school, homes next door or backing up to industrial or retail areas can have an impact on its fair market value.

Consider also the homes in the neighborhood. Are they well maintained? Are there any vacancies or abandoned homes in the area? Don’t overlook public amenities such as sidewalks, streetlights, and proper drainage in making your decisions. These all have potential impact not only on the property’s value, but also on your own safety.

Once inside, can you imagine yourself living there?

Here’s where the emotion part plays a positive role in your home search. Provided you’re purchasing a home for residence, how do you feel when you walk into a property? Can you imagine yourself living there? Where will you put your furniture? What will the rooms be used for. Will the kitchen suit your needs? How about the bathrooms? Will they accommodate your family members properly? How about the backyard? Is there adequate shade for entertaining? What other amenities would you like to see that aren’t already there?

Buy a home for the things you can change, not for the things you can’t

When viewing properties in person, don’t let such things as carpet color, wall paint, or decor deter your decision if you love the rest of the home. Remember, you have the ability to change these things once your escrow has closed and you’ve moved in. In some cases, you may be able to negotiate money back at close of escrow for redecoration. Contact us with your questions about this. You can change these things, but you can’t change a bad location, so keep that in mind.

Question the obvious

Feel free to ask questions about obvious items such as deferred maintenance. Bare landscaping, holes in walls, missing items such as fixtures, and leaky plumbing all have stories behind them. In some cases, these are items that can be thrown into the negotiation discussion if the overall look or location of the house suits you. You also have the right to a order professional home inspection once escrow is opened along with the right of contingency to ask for repairs, or cancel the sale within a certain time period.

Think long term

Depending on your wants and needs with regard to your home purchase, consider the long term positive (and possible) negative effects of your decision. Will the home still fit your needs in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years? We can also help you assess the overall fair market value of homes in the area to see how well they hold up to their investment.

We are here to answer all of your questions and to help guide you on a home search in the most problem-free manner possible. Feel free to contact us using the form below.