Purchasers Advice - Choosing a Home
Choosing A House
Be an Informed Buyer, protect yourself
Once you're familiar with the community, you'll want to focus on the house and have an experienced professional arrange to show you the types of homes you want to see.
Setting - The home you buy should fit naturally into the neighborhood.
Check to see if the home:
- Blends in price and style with the surrounding homes.
- Looks like it belongs on the lot and in the neighborhood.
Your Requirements - Decide beforehand which features you absolutely require and which are flexible.
- Don't be swayed by a charming three-bedroom house when you need four bedrooms.
- Proceed with caution on large items (such as an awkward, old-fashioned kitchen) that call for expensive remodeling.
- Beware of cosmetic "cover-ups" of serious problems in a house.
- Don't be influenced by old or garish wall or floor coverings that aren't to your taste. They can be changed.
- Don't let present furnishings that aren't included in the sale price distract you from purchasing the house as a setting for your family and belongings.
- Don't let your emotions buy the house.
Market history and resale potential - Consider the following questions:
- Why is the owner selling?
- How long has the house been on the market?
- What was its original asking price?
- How many times has that price been reduced?
- Is substantial fix-up required?
- Is it the largest or smallest house in the neighborhood?
Be an "energy sleuth" - Examine the home and determine:
- Gas, electric, oil costs.
- Type of insulation and other energy features.
Keep track - You'll be seeing many houses, so don't rely on memory alone to keep track of all their different features:
- Keep notes (and photos) on the houses you've seen.
- Ask for a copy of the listing information.
- Eliminate houses as you go.
New House - You may be interested in purchasing new construction. Make sure the builder is experienced, financially sound and reputable. Also make sure you can afford to wait for the new home to be completed.