Top 10 Things You Should Consider When Buying A Home
Here are the Top Ten Things You Should Consider When Buying A Home!
Where is the home located? Does it back up to a freeway? Are there special assessments or Mello Roos tax? Is there an airport or train station close by? Is it too close to the neighbor’s house? Good questions to start with as you try and decide if this is the right home for you.
How safe is the neighborhood? Before you write that offer drive by the neighborhood at different times of the day and night. When everyone is home from work and settled the neighborhood could be completely different from when you saw it at 11:00 o’clock that morning. The perfect time is early evening after everyone has gotten home from work. Is anyone having a party and it’s Tuesday night? Is parking a nightmare? Are the streets well lit? Are there cars parked on the front lawn? The last question may sound a bit far fetched but it comes from a personal experience my client’s and I had. There were literally four cars parked on the front lawn! Needless to say they didn’t purchase the home!
How long will your commute take? Sometimes getting to the freeway from your home takes longer than your actual commute to work. How close is the freeway from the house? Is the home worth the extra time it may take you to get to work? Are there other options of transportation available such as a train or ride sharing?
What schools are within the district? Usually your realtor will have an idea of the school district but always check for yourself! It’s easy to do a quick search online to find out. When you’ve found what school district you’re in make sure you check out more than just the elementary school. Your neighborhood location will also dictate what middle and high school your children will attend as well. Once you’ve found the schools take a look at the test scores, child to teacher ratio, any extra curricular activities they may offer and what after school daycare they provide?
How far is your home from the hospital? Surprisingly many home buyers forget about this one but If you have aging parents or young children for that matter living with you this is definitely something to take into account. Not only because you may need the hospital but because you don’t want to listen to sirens day and night as you’re trying to sleep! So you want to be close but not too close.
Are there any power lines located close to the home? The debate is still alive and well in regards to the health risks they may or may not cause but you also have to take into account how do they look? I’ve had many buyers back out of a transaction once they realised how close the power lines were to their home! Also take into consideration the resale value and how long it may take to sell because of the power lines.
How old is the home? I love older homes and all the character they offer but I don’t like the repairs that can come with them! If the house is old than usually so is the roof, air conditioner and plumbing! You’ll be able to tell if the sellers have stayed on top of the repairs and maintenance by the general look of the home and how it’s presented. The home inspection will also give you additional information on what shape the home is in and if there are any major repairs to be done.
What repairs need to be done? Every home has some repairs needed but how many and which repairs are extremely important to know. Look for the big ticket items such as replacing the roof or the plumbing. Look for water stains on the ceilings for leaks from the roof. Take a good look at if from the outside too. If it’s a composition shingle roof then it will be brittle with age and may have bald spots on the shingles where white fiberglass is showing and pock-marks or holes from ‘blistering’ and wear and tear. If the roof is tile look for broken or missing tiles. Most roofs last about 15 to 20 years so simply ask the owners how long they have lived in the home and if they have had any problems with it. By law they must disclose any repairs that have been done. There are a few things short of the home inspection you can do in regards to the plumbing. My clients and I look under sinks and in the garage to see if the plumbing has been repiped and is now copper. Turn on faucets and flush the toilets these will also give you an idea if the plumbing is working correctly or not.
Is there a Homeowners Association? As with most things in life there are always two sides to everything. Homeowner Associations can be great! They help to maintain property value by their rules and regulations. They ensure your neighbors don’t paint there home purple among many other things. However they can also be expensive and very limiting to what you can and can’t do to your home. You’ll have to decide if that is something you can live with or not.
Last but not least do you get phone reception? I feel a bit silly even mentioning this but it is important. There was one area in Circle J Ranch that didn’t get good reception. My buyers and I found this out by accident when they were calling for additional directions and neither one of us could hear the other person Needless to say we asked the seller how the reception was and she confessed it wasn’t good. My buyers quickly decided it wasn’t the home for them. How frustrating would it be if you couldn’t talk on your phone while you were at home. Most people don’t have land lines anymore so your cell phone is your only way of contact with the outside world. If you’re having trouble with your phone connection than chances are you’ll have problems with your internet connection as well so take out your phone and check your bars to make sure the reception is good.
I hope I’ve given you some ideas that perhaps you hadn’t thought of before. I’ve lived and worked in Santa Clarita and the surrounding areas for over fourteen years and would love to share them with you! If you are looking to sell or buy a home then let’s chat! Give me a call or fill out the form below. I’m here to help!