It can never be said enough that a home buyer needs to use their own realtor. Your own realtor will be looking out for your best interests, while the seller’s realtor is looking out for them. A few years ago, I was looking at houses with a friend who let each seller’s realtor show us the homes. She just didn’t want her own realtor for whatever reason. It was amazing the issues with the homes that the realtors didn’t admit to, but we figured them out. The experience really made it clear the things besides closet space that a buyer should be looking for. Here are a few features and other things to consider when seriously looking at a particular home.
One of the biggest features that home buyers just don’t think of before purchase is high speed internet (HSI) availability. No one wants dial up internet anymore. DSL and cable internet have limited availability more so than most people realize. If a home is bought that doesn’t have HSI available then dial up or satellite internet will be the only options, both of which are horrible.
Heating and air conditioning
Electric heat is more expensive to run than a heat pump. Window unit air conditioners also cost more to run than a heat pump. It’s best to buy a home that already has a heat pump. Also, for those hard times during winter power outages it’s best to have a back up heating source such as a propane heater or a generator that powers the entire home – either of these will probably have to be installed by the new home owner. Realtors go by what the home owner tells them and if the seller says that the central a/c unit is a heat pump then that’s probably what the realtor will say it is. Central a/c units just aren’t popular anymore and some realtors will assume that unit in the backyard is a heat pump if the home has electric heat that works from the same control box.
Will it possible to drive to the highway in bad winter weather?
If the home is neither on a main road nor a secondary road then the road probably won’t be scraped in bad winter conditions. At least not in a timely manner. If being able to leave the house in those conditions is important then be sure to only look at homes near the main road. Even if the home buyer has a 4WD vehicle, it’s still better to live where it’s more likely your vehicle will get out.
If neighbor issues haven’t been a problem before then it might not occur to a home buyer to check out the new neighbors. If moving to a rural area, know that there will be fewer laws regarding noise and animals. It’s best to visit the potential home many times at various times of day before purchasing the home. Look for toys in the neighbors’ yards to see if they have children. Are there free-roaming animals? Dogs barking? How often are the police called to the area? Where is that property line anyway? It’d be a good idea to meet with several of the neighbors to find out what the neighborhood is really like before committing to move there.
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