Other Home Buying Advice
You’d think the easiest thing in the world would be deciding what house to buy. After all, who knows you better than you? You know exactly what you want, right? Well, sometimes. The truth is that most people only have an idea of what they want – the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, size of the kitchen and garage, and maybe the yard. Things tend to get a little murkier when you mix in neighborhoods and schools, commutes to work and distance to ball fields and retail shops.
Fortunately, we have the tools you need to select just the right property for everyone in your home (even if you live by yourself). We have computerized maps with overlays of school districts, commuter highways and other features. And, of course, with a click of a mouse we usually show you which homes are for sale in the areas you select.
Together, we'll be able to narrow your search. To begin with, we recommend that everyone who will live in your new home make a list of the things they must have, would like to have, and “would be nice” to have. (Make sure the kids make a list, too. While buying a house is an adult decision, the move will go smoother if your children feel they are part of the process.)
Once you have your individual lists, combine them into a single master list and start prioritizing. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll be able to separate the “must-haves” from the “optionals.”
When you’re finished prioritizing, give a copy of that list to us and we'll get to work. In no time, you will be looking a houses that match your needs.
TARGETING YOUR PERFECT HOME
- Tell us about the style you like, whether it’s a two-story, contemporary, ranch or something else.
- List your priorities in home features, such as a two- or three-car garage; gourmet kitchen; etc.
- Think about your lifestyle. Do you entertain a lot? Is yours the home where all the neighborhood kids gather? Do you hate yard work?
WHEN WE’VE IDENTIFIED A NEIGHBORHOOD
- Drive around. Value is enhanced by other well-maintained properties. Conversely, be cautious of areas with unkempt yards and homes, and businesses mixed in with residences.
- Ask about the property tax assessment, including any special assessments or pending bond issues.
- Pay attention to zoning. Good residential communities are zoned to keep out commercial and industrial users. Ask about other regulations, such as on-street parking. Find out if the area is governed by any covenants.
- Get an idea of the neighborhood’s character by talking with people who live there.
One afterthought. Every once in a while we may show you something that doesn’t seem to fit your list. After we’ve worked with you for awhile, our professional experience and our intuition about your family may lead us to show you something just a little bit different. You’d be surprised at how often that’s the home our clients buy.