1. RESEARCH THE COMMUNITY
Houses aren’t just houses – they’re the building block of a community that you may be moving into. Will your new neighborhood be quiet, or loud? Is there a lot of crime in the area? Where are the nearest grocery stores? Are there community parks nearby? Take a drive around the neighborhood where you may be moving to get a feel for the community. Try to go at different times; that way you’ll know how quiet or loud the neighborhood is. After driving around, read local newspapers from the area to see what environment you may be moving into.
2. RESEARCH YOUR COMMUTE TIME
One of the most often overlooked details is the new commute. Many new homeowners think “Well, my new house is about 10 minutes from my old house, so that will shorten my commute time by 10 minutes.”
Unfortunately, commutes depend on a lot of different elements, including traffic and speed limits. If you can, get up a bit earlier before going to work and drive to the house you are considering making an offer on. Then, drive your would-be commute to see how long it takes. If the traffic is terrible and you don’t want to spend that much time in your car each day, you might want to reconsider putting an offer down on the house.
3. RESEARCH NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS
Many prospective homeowners forget that their children’s lives and education are strongly impacted when they move to a new home and neighborhood. Research the school district to see if your children will be getting a good education and to see what school your children would be attending if you bought the home. Then, schedule to take a tour of the classrooms and speak with the principal to determine if the school would be a good fit for your children. If the school doesn’t seem to be what your child needs, you may want to reconsider making an offer on the home.
4. SEE IF THERE ARE CHANGES PLANNED IN THE AREA
No homeowner plans to move into a home and have its value plummet. Yet if there are changes planned for the area, that might happen, and it might be why the seller is moving in the first place. Go online and read newspapers to research any planned building projects that may be planned in the new area. A new highway that is being built near your home can decrease the value incredibly.
5. INSPECT THE HOME’S PROPERTY (SEE IF IT HAS A HOME WARRANTY)
Yes, the walls have fresh paint and the carpet has been steamed clean, but what about those costly repairs that might be hiding under your very nose? Check on the foundation, systems, and appliances of a house to see if there are repairs that need to be made before making an offer. Your Realtor® will more than likely have a great Home Inspector recommendation. Listen to them! Home inspections are money well spent and will help you avoid being blindsided by unforeseen repairs or replacements after you’ve moved into the home.
After you have looked through the home to make sure there aren’t any major repairs that need to be made, see if the home has a home warranty. Many home warranty companies offer free listing coverage, like Landmark Home Warranty. The seller will put a home warranty on the house, and it will make sure any repairs and replacements on home appliances and systems are covered.
If you’ve research each of these details, and find that everything is in order, make an offer on the home! If you find problems with any of these details, determine if the home is worth the inconvenience, and if it isn’t, keep looking for your dream house.
Of course, any home is worth more with a home warranty. Home warranties can save homeowners hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on costly home repairs and replacements when home systems and appliances fail from normal wear and tear. Home warranties protect these home appliances and systems by making sure homeowners only have to pay $60 for repairs and replacements. If you’re buying a home, make sure to ask if there is a home warranty available to reduce costly home repair costs and keep you feeling safe and secure.
For more information about home warranties, go to Landmark Home Warranties website at www.LandmarkHW.com. There, you can read our home warranty reviews from actual Landmark customers, learn more about home warranty plans and see why Landmark is the best home warranty company out there.