Post # 1
We met with our realtor for the first time today and really liked him. We start looking at houses this weekend!
What things did you not think of before your home search, that you realized actually are pretty important?
Questions I should be asking? Home factors I may not think of? Anything goes!
Post # 3
Consider taxes. They’re never going to go down, but some municipalities have high taxes to begin with…and they always raise them. If they seem high right now, then that’s probably not the house for you.
Consider whether you want an HOA or not. I am adamantly against HOAs (or as I like to call them “communist utopias” because they can impose silly rules and even make it really tough to sell a house someday!
LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION: you can’t change that. If you do fall in love with a house, go back a few times during differnt parts of the day/week if possible. I fell in lOVE with the nicest house on the other end of our city; but it was near a school. On the weekend, its was awesome, during the week, cars are lined up/down the street and its bedlam. That was a no-go for me.
Age of the home/age of the roof/appliances. I know everyone thinks they can easily switch out appliances if they find the right house, but those are costs that add up QUICKLY. It’s always best to move into a home that doesn’t need a whole heckuva lot of work to do (unless you have budgeted for that or got a killer deal on your property.)
**Check the crime stastics for the home’s area*** Realtors can’t tell you or won’t tell you if the property you’re looking at is in a shady area. It goes against their code of ethics. EVERY city is going to have an online crime-awareness report or what have you. Reseach it…some neighborhoods can be very deceiving. (My rule of thumb is to stay away from houses near apartment complexes. Not sure why, but with new tenants in/out of a complex, that sometimes can make crime spike.
Post # 4
@JaneyDcat: Thank you!!
We have an “acceptable” tax range already set in stone!
We are both against HOAs for the same reason as you. No thanks!
Good point on the location. We will make sure that we do the drivebys like you said- definitely a good pointer!
We’re a bit insane and are planning on replacing appliances no matter what. We have a seperate pool of money for this. Unless the appliances there are great lol
Seems silly that a realtor can’t tell you crime rates. Thanks for that pointer too- I’ll have to keep that in mind..
Post # 5
Meet the neighbors! On one of our visits the neighbor was out with his son. We hit it off immediately and now they are some of our best friends. The nieghbors on our other side do not talk even if we are both out at the same time which is…weird.
Post # 6
*sigh* Thing we wish we’d considered when buying
- The cost of heating. Freakign oil is DAMN expensive. I’d make gas heat a requirement if I were looking again.
- Wood siding sucks when it needs to be painted. Vinyl or cement is the way to go.
- Bigger isnt always better. More space = More heating and cooling cost.
- If the inspection says something needs to be fixed, get a few real quotes, don’t just listen to your realtor on their estimates.
Other than that, we focused on a few of the best neighborhoods and were not willing to compromise on loctaion. We’re completely happy with the house except for the first two points above and maybe the 3rd, which is related to the first.
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rosehill Community Center
Old houses are awesome, but they do take a loooooot more work. Make sure if you are looking at an older house you’re willing to make minor upgrades, and maybe more major ones, as you go. For instance, we knew we’d have to replace the roof, but then after that water started coming in and down our walls. Where from? Oh, the chimney that needs to be basically rebuilt. Didn’t even think about the chimney.
Also, you might not need it often, but access to the attic and crawl space is nice to have readily available. Ours is crazy awful, so the couple times we’ve needed to go up, it is a whole ordeal.
Oh, and ask if the current owners have had ANY issues at all, if they will tell you. There was some form they filled out where they said during some crazy rainstorm the basement flooded, so we were like eh, no biggie, we don’t get crazy rainstorms much. Lo and behold, lots of rain and we had an inch of water in the basement. And there was a patch on the ceiling (right by the chimney…) where some drywall had been replaced. I bet they knew something about the leaks, but maybe attributed it to the roof? But they didn’t note anything about water intrusion, which is a little frustrating.
Post # 8
Estimates for changes or fixes will always be more….ALWAYS!
Meet the neighbors. Consider the size for heating and cooling. Consider your lifestyle and not the lifestyle you wish you had…example…getting a large dining room even if you only entertain 2x a year.
Good luck and happy hunting!
Post # 9
Do not settle on location even if everything else is perfect, you’ll hate yourself in a year of doing the commute.
Flush the toilets, run the showers, check for water pressure and heat (if the hot water is on.)
Look under the sinks and behind cabinets for places where pests could get in.
Post # 10
Thanks all! Keep the tips coming!
Post # 11
The only thing I have to say RE: HOA’s – they aren’t all bad. Absolutely some are bad. But we live in an HOA community that is more for a community feel and they make decisions on community property. I know some HOA’s are covenant protected and you need approval to paint your door a different color. Our HOA is not like that. They plan community get togethers and maintain community property (boat ramp, beach, pier, etc.).
Heating & cooling costs.
BIG repairs: roof, HVAC, windows, etc. Are they done or will you have to do them? Talk about costly!!
Location – absolute BIGGEST thing to consider as it’s the only thing you cannot change.
Neighbors….we really don’t like one set of neighbors. We pray they put their house up for sale.
Post # 12
If you’re in NH i’d look into snow removal. Is the city prompt about plowing your street? It really matters! Some are better/faster than others!
Post # 13
@crayfish: Yes! Snow removal. My friends just bought this really pretty house on a corner lot. First snow, they had to shovel the sidewalks (it was like 10″) and it took them forever!
Another thing a friend had trouble with in a rental house: the fences. If there are fences that might need repair/upgrading find out if they belong to your house or the neighbors (because sometimes you can’t fix “your” fence because it’s really 3″ into the neighbor’s yard and they don’t give a [email protected]).
@NowDontLetsBeSilly: The attic/crawlspace thing is so smart! The crawlspaces for my parents’ house is such a pain to get to, our Christmas decorations sit in the garage for weeks before going back up.