So you’ve found a home you can picture yourself living in for years and years. Should you go ahead and make an offer right away? Well, not so fast. As a Breckenridge Real Estate Agent, I’ve seen what can happen when a bid is made on the spot. There is something to be said for taking time to think things over.
Today we’re discussing the home buying checklist. It may not be the most exciting part of the home buying process, but for those who tend to dive into things head first, a good checklist can make a big difference.
Steer Clear of Emotions
The biggest factor that can get in the way of an objective decision is emotion. You might be instantly drawn to a particular home to such a degree that you’re ignoring flaws or potential costs associated with the home. This kind of emotional response will prevent you from asking key questions and seeing things that could become major issues down the line.
Maybe you’re so impressed with the granite countertops that you don’t see the mold in the basement. Falling in love too quickly can blind you from seeing major flaws with the home.
Even if a home looks incredible during the initial showing, try to suspend your judgment so that you can look at the property clearly. Every house has weak points, or areas that can be improved. Make sure you’re looking for those as well as the features you love.
Visit at Different Times of Day
You may feel the home of your choice is located in a quiet neighborhood because you didn’t hear a peep while visiting in the afternoon. However, there could be a garage band that practices at night. Or there might be lots of rush-hour traffic that goes by in the evenings.
You really don’t know what the community is like unless you visit at various times of the day. If you live nearby, take the dog for a walk in your prospective new neighborhood or stop by on your way home from work. Making the trip over a few times can also tell you what your commute or running errands would be like.
Talk to the Neighbors
It’s a little tougher in the winter months when fewer people are out walking or working in the yard, but see if you can reach out to people who live nearby. Many neighborhoods and developments have Facebook pages or message boards. A few quick questions can tell you how long the average homeowner stays, how well they like their homeowners association or what percentage of the homes are rentals or vacation properties.
All of these details can help you get a feel for who you’ll be living near and how they feel about the decision to buy in the neighborhood.
Request Past Utility Bills
When buying a new home, it’s not just the mortgage amount you need to consider. Utility bills, taxes and HOA fees should figure into the purchase as well. If the disclosure process isn’t clear about all of the above, ask for a summary of the costs. Knowing how much water and power will cost could tell you a lot about how sound the construction is, what the city and county are like to work with and many other points you won’t know without those numbers.
Want More Info?
As you can tell, there are many aspects to examine when looking for a new home. It can be overwhelming to evaluate each of these factors and make the right choice. However, I hope these insights will give you a better idea of what to be aware of during your new home search.
If you’re ready to buy or sell in Breckenridge or throughout Summit County, feel free to reach out early in the process. You can start by looking through the updated listings on my website, or we can begin by talking about your budget and what is on your ‘wants vs. needs’ list for a new home. When you’re ready to discuss your options or prepare for showings, contact me at any time via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on my office line. I look forward to working with you!