1. THE FUTURE’S SO BRIGHT, I GOTTA WEAR SHADES. When buying a home you really need to consider your future plans. How long do you plan on staying in the area? Do you want to be a move-up buyer in 5-7 years? Make sure you buy a home that appeals to many and will be easier to sell in the future than the fixer-upper next to the freeway wall. It’s not always a good idea to buy “anything” just to own a home.
2. DO A DRIVE BY. Drive by during the day, drive by at night, see what type of street lighting there is. Drive by during the morning commute time and see if the neighborhood is used as a “cut through” for commuters. I encourage ALL of my buyers to drive by the property they want to purchase at different times of the day/night prior to writing a purchase and sale agreement. Check out this article I wrote a few weeks back – DO A “DRIVE BY”! WHAT EVERY BUYER NEEDS TO KNOW – KITSAP REAL ESTATE
3. IS A BACKGROUND CHECK IN ORDER? There are ways that you as a buyer can check out crime statistics, school ratings and look at the sex offender maps for the area. If you need help I can send you a link.
4. WHAT’S YOUR STYLE? TRADITIONAL TWO STORY OR DAYLIGHT RANCH? Here in the Pacific Northwest the traditional 2 story is the most popular, but you want to make sure your home style reflects your living habits. As I get older the stairs on certain days are an issue! Do you like an open floor plan or do you like your space divided?
5. ABC, 123 LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT INFORMATION. Do you have kids? Are they in school? Do you want to stay in the same school boundaries? Property values can be tied to how good a school preforms or how poor. I have some great sites you can visit to look at all the states “grades” on schools, just ask.
6. VINTAGE OR BRAND NEW. I spent 10 years selling new construction in King County and have purchased a brand new home, but longed for the day of a “vintage” home with that extra character value. I have lived in new homes, 1950′s homes and now live in a “art deco era” home built in 1941. I know what to look for in new construction quality and I know how to tell in a vintage home if you will need to update wiring or plumbing.
7. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. You have heard it before and you will hear it when you enter the real estate market as a buyer from all of your friends. You must live here – not there – its all about the location. We can chat about this more at length in-between viewing homes.
Of course there are a kagillion other things you might consider too, these are just a few to get your brain thinking about your home purchase. Its a fun process and an exciting experience to purchase a home!