Finally, you've narrowed down your home search to a handful of listings or less. You're officially one step closer to turning the key and walking into your new home.
However, before you pop the champagne you'll first want to make sure that your new dream home doesn't have any hidden horrors. We wanted to give you a few things to focus on when choosing the right home.
1. Avoid a "Jekyll-and-Hyde" Neighborhood
Unfortunately, for some communities, the daytime and nighttime atmospheres are completely different. Always be sure to drive through to get a better idea of where you could potentially be living.
The mistake most buyers make is doing this only once and during a neutral time like early afternoon. That won't paint the true portrait of the area. It's best to visit more than once and vary your days and times. Be sure to include evenings, as well, when it's presumed that most residents are home.
2. High Traffic Could Mean Lower Value
As you're driving the streets of the neighborhood, be sure to note if the home you're interested in is in a secluded section that's more private or if it's in a high-traffic area. This may seem trivial, but the truth is it matters quite a bit.
This is particularly true if there are children in your household. The more car traffic that passes in front of the home, the less likely it is that you'll feel comfortable with little ones playing outside unattended. It can be a serious deal-breaker for some parents.
3. Don't Be Afraid to Get "Touchy-Feely"
If all looks good at this point, you should schedule a home viewing. When inside the home, be sure to do more than look around. Now's the time to find out if there's anything that needs repair or may be a major problem down the road.
Test the doorknobs. Open the cabinets and windows. Turn on every faucet and light switch. If something doesn't work well (or at all), now's the time to know and not after closing.
4. Follow the Drip
When you're in the process of testing the faucets throughout the home, be sure to look for things such as water pressure and water color. Contrary to what the seller may say, that brown water isn't actually Pepsi.
Make sure the water is clear and the stream is consistent. If either is off, that may be indicative of a bigger problem with the pipes or water heater. Also be sure to look under each sink and on floors. Possible leaks could lead to mildew issues or worse: MOLD.
5. Look Up!
Last, but certainly not least, assess the roof of the home. This means the exterior as well as the interior. Getting a ladder may not be necessary, but considering the investment you're about to make, it's not a bad idea. That way you can get a good look at the shingles and roof as a whole to see if anything is overly worn or outright damaged.
Inside the home, look for water stains where the walls meet the ceiling. This is proof of a leaky roof. The cost of having that repaired or replaced altogether is enough to make walking away a smart decision.
You Don't Have to Go It Alone
We want you to have as much information as possible when searching for your dream home. We're here to partner with you every step of the way. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll help you get moving.