Monday, October 13, 2008

How to Find the Best Home: What Else Do You Want?

In my last blog post I gave you the basic seven criteria you need to establish before looking at any homes. You can read that post by clicking here. Today, I want to discuss some additional criteria you should consider:

Condition of Home
Some homes are move in ready. Some homes need a little TLC. Some homes need serious work. What are you willing to do? Are you willing to (or pay someone to):

do touch up paint?
fix plumbing?
drywall work?
replace doors or windows?
replace landscaping?

How do you know the condition of a home? Sometimes the pictures on a listing will show you missing appliances, dirty carpets, dingy painting, or multi-colored walls. However, we all know how misleading pictures can be. Don't worry. This is where your real estate agent comes into play. I generally try to preview homes for my clients to determine the cosmetic condition of homes. This allows us to look at homes that meet their criteria and not waste time on other homes. Once you find a home you will hire a professional home inspector to do a thorough inspection.

Lot Size and Location
Think about how much time you spend in your backyard and determine the following:
*Lot size - Generally, our lot sizes are about 4500 - 5500 sq. ft.
*privacy needs
*corner lot or cul de sac lot
*do you mind a street or commercial building behind your lot?
* how far do you want to be from the community amenities? Walking distance or maybe you don't mind hopping into the car?

Golf course, green space, mountain view, lake view. What do you want? Is this important? Can you have this within your price range?

Community clubhouse, gated, guard gated, community pool or spa, tennis, golf... these are just a few amenities available. Is this important to you? Do you want a community with activities and extra services? Can you have this within your price range?

Extra Costs
Communities with amenities usually charge higher homeowner's association fees. Also, some homes in town have extra assessments attached to the home. Determine how much extra you are willing to pay and let your real estate agent know if this is an issue for you.

Remember, most communities in town have an association fee. The ones that don't are usually in older parts of town.

We only have one school district in town. I've covered how to find the best schools for your kids in an earlier blog post - click here.

I think that covers things you should think about when looking for a home. Remember to keep me informed of your criteria. Those of you looking at the listings in your private client web site* can either leave me notes with your saved homes or send me an email. This will allow me to adjust your criteria in the MLS database.

Next time, places you can use online to make your search easier.

I have a system where you can be alerted of new listings, updated listings, and price reductions via email. This system also gives you a private web site where you can save favorites, make notes, look at maps, etc (you can get a peek of the system by clicking here). It is a super easy site to use and very convenient. If you would like access just click here and fill out the form.

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