10 Things to Consider When Buying a Home

Posted by Steve Vincent on Oct 1, 2013 10:38:40 AM

In Buyers, home inspections, radon gas, seller disclosure, water damage, zoning restrictions

Purchasing a home can be a daunting experience, but it doesn't have to be. To help we offer 10 things to consider when buying a home.

1.  The seller's disclosure.  Before selling, a homeowner completes a detailed checklist of the properties various systems and components, noting any known defects or problems.  Even if you are in love with the house, it is important to be aware of any flaws.

2.  Zoning guidelines and restrictions.  This is especially important if you are planning structural changes or any kind of mixed use.

3.  Home inspections.  Ask us which ones are available and consider getting all that may apply to the property.  Of course the standard home inspection that reviews equipment and systems is essential as is the termite inspection, but you might also consider things like a septic tank or roof inspection.

4.  Reason for selling.  Why is this home for sale?  Where is the seller going?  You might think this is irrelevant when buying a home but if you understand what the seller is trying to achieve it can help you structure an acceptable offer.

5.  Radon gas.  Radon is a naturally occurring radio-active gas that has been linked to some forms of cancer.  It can accumulate in basements and other parts of dwellings depending on how they are built and ventilated.  A radon gas inspection is often a good idea.

6.  Water damage.  An unfortunate interaction with water, whether from a leak or a flood, is a part of almost every home's history.  Properly repaired, this is not a problem, but if care is not taken in the clean-up, mold can form.  Your professional home inspector should uncover any problems here, but it also doesn't hurt to ask the seller if there have been water problems. You may want to have a complete environmental inspection if there seem to be any concerns.

7.  Crime rate.  What is the level of crime in the neighborhood and what kinds of crimes are most frequent?  A good way to check this out in the Triad is by visiting City-Data.com.

8.  Noise level.  If you tour a home at 3 pm, you will get a feel for what the noise level is at that moment.  But, what about 10 am? or 6 pm?  Sometimes it makes sense to drive back at odd times to get a feel for noise.

9.  Dogs and children.  Either may be a positive or negative depending on your own wants and needs.  The best way to know if a neighborhood is a good fit for you is to simply spend a little time there.  Go to the local supermarket and see who is shopping, visit the closest park and relax for a bit, drop by the nearest school when classes adjourn for the day.

10.  Schools.  How good are the public and private schools in the area?  Even if you don't have school aged children, this is important as it can impact resale.   You can find school information in our related post Choosing a Neighborhood: Schools in the Piedmont Triad.

Of course, there are easily another "10 Things." Give us a call. We can help.