- 5 years ago
ASK ABOUT NEIGHBOURS – WE DIDNT AND OURS ARE A NIGHTMARE
ASK ABOUT NEIGHBOURS – WE DIDNT AND OURS ARE A NIGHTMARE
I also agree about the neighbors. The night we signed our papers and moved in, there was a party next door and the cops showed up because fights broke out…at a quinceanera. There are also 15 illegal people living in one house. It is truly terrible.
This isn’t about the house itself but about the neighborhood. In our current house we never noticed the SUPER AGGRESSIVE dogs right next door prior to buying it. I think the realtor may have talked to that neighbor before she showed the house and asked him to put the dogs up while she was showing it, because that is the only time they haven’t been at our fence barking.
It is actually a really big issue since the dogs love to bark along the side yard that is right outside our bedroom window…at 2am.
I always recommend potential buyers check out the neighborhood on their own (without the realtor who may go the extra mile to make it appealing prior to the sale) and make sure it is something they want.
ETA: I would also pay attention to the availability of guest parking around your potential house. We live on a cul-de-sac which used to be pretty quiet…then a pair of young couples (yes, 4 people) bought the house across the street from us and then brought in a roommate!!! That was 5 extra cars on a small cul-de-sac that didn’t have much parking space to begin with. To top it off, they don’t use their garage (maybe the roommate is living in there?!) so three of those cars are constantly parked on the street. When we have people over they sometimes have to park several houses down or on the main street. It is a nightmare.
We’ve already agreed that our next house will be out of city limits and on at least an acre. I can’t wait until then. 🙂
Outlets. Look at the locations and how many there are, because if you’ve got too few or they’re in really weird locations, you’ll have extension cords all over the place. If your house doesn’t come with appliances (mine didn’t), make sure there are outlets where the appliances are supposed to go, or you’ll be stuck in a reno right off the bat!
Check that there is overhead lighting. Lamps can be annoying if you haven’t got enough table space or will have to buy tons of lamps.
Make sure the bathroom either has a window or a fan. I’ve lived in houses with neither and it is super gross.
Make sure you can envision where your furniture will go, and bring a tape measure. If you’re serious about the place, double check that your couch will fit where you want it.
Lift up any rugs to check the flooring underneath. Similarly, be wary of any oddly hanging pictures (a painting that doesn’t quite suit the size of the room). A lot of the time, sellers will try and cover up problems with some simple decor – do not fall for this!
Make sure that all of the doors and windows open and close properly. My Father-In-Law got stuck in the bathroom twice the day I moved into my house because the frame had expanded in the humidity, so closing the door would make it jam.
I currently work for a mid-size law firm and the attorneys I work for bill out at $350-$400/hour. It’s actually cheaper for us to just make the repairs than it is to hire an attorney to fight them for us. In addition to that taking days off work to go to court, digging up old documents and photos, etc. it really isn’t worth it to us. Inspectors protect themselves otherwise they wouldn’t do what they do.
Frankly, purchasing our home was SUCH a headache. The entire process was horrible. We only bought because it had been raining in the kitchen of our rental for 9 months and finding a rental with 2 pitbulls isn’t the easiest thing in the world. We had an attorney when we were battling our landlords, we withheld rent, and battled them tooth and nail. We were just happy to move out and not have that landlord anymore. We ended up using the money we had witheld as rent to repair the roof and in another year or so we will put a new roof on. I would rather pay to fix the stuff than continue battling over this house.
Live and learn to be smarter next time.
HVAC System – make sure it is up to date, because new ones cost nearly 10K
Yard – you want low maintenance. Trust me when I say that a LOT of mulch that looks “pretty”, is very expensive.
Roadways – make sure that your house isn’t too close to a busy road or major highway. This will affect resale value.
Roof – make sure it’s new. If it’s not, this will be a bitch to replace.
Bathrooms – I have two major leaks in my ceilings. Make sure that there are no previous issues with piping and remodled rooms. The previous owners remodeled their master bath and it damaged the pipes.
Siding – This is just me, but I hated that we didn’t have the owners pressure wash it first. It looks dirty and it’s a task that I just don’t feel like doing after a major move.
Fencing – if you have it, make sure it’s sturdy. Ours was knocked over a week before closing. Luckily the previous owner fixed it, but we still worry about the rest of the yard since the fence is pretty wobbly.
Lastly – schools/neighbors. Make sure they have a decent rating. When buying a house, you’ll usually be there for a little while and you want to make sure it’s a safe place if you’re going to be raising a family there.
watch out for Tight spaces in halls and stairwells.
My BFF just bought a beautiful home. I mean 5+ bedrooms, 3500+sq ft. This place is massive and they spent time redoing the kitchen with cabinets and granite counters, ceiling fixtures, floors, installing carpets, redoing bathrooms and finishing a laundry room with two washers & dryers and cabinets nicer than most kitchens. When we went to move her furniture into the home none of the larger stuff would fit upstairs.
There is only one stairway in the rear of the house and there is a wall 2-3ft infront of it and another wall just 3 ft beyond the stairs. Then the ceiling infront of the stairs is not slanted so the clearence over the first few stairs is super low for a stair way. This greatly reduced options for manuvering furniture up the stairs. Her king size mattres and box spring would not fit up the stairs, neither would the queen size box spring and most of their dressers and entertainment centers and king size headboard.
Make sure you know of any implications that are on your “must have list”. When we bought out house, my husband insisted on west facing living room/dining room with HUGE windows for the light– he is from Northern California, so the temperature isn’t a factor there- we are in the midwest— not only did we spend a fortune on widow coverings for said windows, but becuase of the direct sunlight, the house usually gets to about 92 degrees by August, with the AC running all the time- needles to say it is miserable. We are now putting in new windows to help- but that isn’t cheap!
Take a tape measure to make sure your furniture fits (in the room and in the front door!)
make your offer subject to a building inspection, and get a reliable one so you can have piece of mind
if you are making owners do things before you move DONT settle until it’s done or it will never get done
make sure they give you all the keys!! We weren’t given keys to the back door and changing the locks is so much harder when the door is already locked!
We were lucky as the house was empty when we viewed it so they couldn’t hide anything behind furniture- my parents house had a badly repaired wall hiding behind the couch they didnt see until they moved in So check behind everything
I’m in aus so we dont seem to have weird rules about our houses (keep garden off footpath is about it and noise restrictions is about it where I live) so we didn’t need to worry about that
we checked out the neighbours who are all old and v quiet which is awesome!
open every cupboard and flush the toilet!
no basement entrance to outside. this made getting a couch in very difficult. i had to find one that completely came apart.
Overall, I have been quite happy. I wish I had taken note of the privacy or lack thereof in the backyard. Adding trees helped some once they matured a little.
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