When considering purchasing a home it is important to consider more than just the style, price, layout, size, and location. We wanted to share some other ways to ensure that you are doing your due diligence when considering whether a particular property is the right one for you!
Choose an Appropriate Realtor
Be sure seek the assistance of an experienced real estate professional who can provide you advice, knowledge and resources to assist in finding the right home for you. Realtors do so much more than just open the doors and negotiate on your behalf. They are there to help guide you towards finding a home that properly suits your needs, desires and budget. Though not all realtors are created equal, they each have their different strengths and unique expertise.
We strongly suggest when searching for an acreage to find a realtor that is experience and specialized in acreages. There is alot more to consider when buying land outside of a city that has a well and septic tank system -for starters.
Another example is when searching for a condo it is recommended to find a condo specialist. It is important to have someone experienced with condos and can suggest a reliable professional to review the condo documents to protect your investment.
If you are looking for a income property, we suggest choosing a realtor with experience in that area. Someone who is familiar with the required permits and zoning.
If looking to move to a new city, it is beneficial to hire a realtor who is familiar with the area and can provide their insight. Different neighborhoods and communities have different demographics, amenities and property values.
We work with a large number of realtors, if you would like a referral we would be happy to connect you with a few realtors that suit your unique needs.
Research the Area
Prior to falling in love a house, it is important that the area and location will work for you and your lifestyle. Walk and drive around the community and to get a feel for the area.
- How will the commute be?
- Are there amenities nearby that you frequently need?
- Are you happy with the nearby walking paths, playgrounds and off leash areas? Schools district?
- Is it a high water table or flood area?
- Do you have a support system nearby?
Ask the Previous Owners
It is good practice to have your realtor ask the seller’s realtor to disclose any previous water leaks or major deficiencies that the previous owners have experienced. They are legally required to disclose these types of things when asked.
Get a Home Inspection
As many of our readers would agree, getting a home inspections completed is a very important step in buyer’s due diligence. During a home inspection the inspector will investigate whether the home’s components and systems are operating as they should and should point out maintenance items as well as other areas to monitor over time. Findings from this report can often be used to renegotiate the purchase price of a home, and provide you with a good understanding of the condition of the home.
Hire Specialists for Specific Concerns
Prior to waiving conditions it is helpful to hire a trade specialist to do a further in-depth investigation into specific areas of concern that have been highlighted during the home inspection. This also provides an opportunity to obtain a realistic quote on repairs to budget for.
Keep in mind that home inspectors are generalists and are not journeyman of all areas of a home as this would take many years of school and would results in home inspections costing 4-5x as much! It can be handy to book your inspection earlier on in your condition period to allow for further due diligence on any deficiencies discovered before waiving conditions on the purchase agreement.
When buying an older home, and even a new home, it is important to budget for repairs, maintenance and the unexpected. The life span of the following components varies based on brand, installation, maintenance and other factors, and should are only a rough estimate of the typical life span. Though it can be helpful to consider when budgeting for home maintenance. Here’s a rough estimate of the lifespan of major components of a home:
- Hot water tanks typically have a life span of 10-12 years
- Furnace lifespan is 20-25 years, though annual maintenance is required
- Roofs vary based on the thickness of the shingle, type of materials and weather conditions, though roughly 12-25 years.
- Windows vary depending on position of the home, care and installation, though on average you can expect windows to last 20 years.
In the end, many buyers go with their gut when choosing their next home though we hope you consider some of these other factors to ensure that your journey of home-ownership is a pleasurable one!