Home Buyer's Checklist - What You Should Know

Real Estate

Checklist Before You Buy

Finding a home that you can see yourself in for the next five to twenty-five years is a great feeling. Don't let that feeling cloud your judgment and leave you with unexpected issues after the closing.

Here are a few things to consider before you buy:

  1.  Hire an expert to do your own home inspection prior to purchasing the home and attend if possible.
  2. Evaluate possible repairs/immediate improvements. If they are easy fixes, you may want to repair or replace the issue yourself.
  3. If the repair/replacement is expensive, you may want to ask your agent if you should include an amendment to the Purchase Agreement specifying  that you want these issues maintained or paid for by the Sellers. Be flexible. You may lose the sale if your Seller does not want to make the repairs themselves or come down on their price.
  4. Purchase an environmental report (lead, asbestos, etc.).
  5. Ask about all of the vital systems that connect to the house (electrical, sewage, heating, air conditioning, garbage disposal, and water.) Investigate the ins and outs of these systems:  Age, warranty, etc.
  6. If you inspector is Licensed, have them perform an energy audit as well. This can confirm that your budget will match what your new home is going to cost on a monthly basis. You can also get insight into the condition of the home.
  7. Examine potential neighborhoods with a 24 hour perspective. Are there any dogs howling late at night? Is there a lot of traffic due to commuters? Are you on a bus line? Again, be sure there are no surprises.
  8. Do multiple practice commutes and if you work rotating shifts, be sure to see what the traffic is like during each of them. One day is not enough time to judge the next 5+ years of driving to work.
  9. Consider your furniture, electronics and appliances. Will they fit into the new home or will you need to purchase new home furnishings?
  10. Have you set aside money for unexpected expenses? Paint, furnishings, carpet, etc. This is no only good for you to have for yourselves, but lenders love to see that extra pot of money in the bank.
  11. Know the local political landscape. Are there any issues you should know about? Make sure you understand how utilities, schools and public services are funded. Some utilities are included in property taxes and some you have to pay for and arrange yourself.
  12. Take a walk. Look around the local area to understand its personality, economics, climate, and variables that will be part of your long-term lifestyle. If you are looking to retire, you may not want all those kids running past your house to the park. 
  13. If you're considering a move, or hear that any of your family, friends, neighbors or colleagues are, please feel free to contact me. I have been doing this job for many years and have achieved a high level of success for both buyers and sellers.

You dream it. I make it yours.