Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Home Buying Tips: Things to Consider Before You Buy

This article courtesy of the professional Realtors serving the Fort Knox KY real estate market.

Home ownership is part of the American dream, and it’s natural to get excited when you’re able to make that dream a reality. When you’re looking to buy a home, emotions can play a prominent part in your final decision. But home ownership is a substantial long-term investment, and it pays to take a step back and consider your potential home purchase choice from an objective standpoint. Before you make your final decision, go through this helpful checklist and consider each point.

Is the home the right size for your family and stage of life? Often it’s assumed that the bigger the house, the better. But remember that houses with lots of square footage cost more across the board. Everything will be more expensive: property taxes, heating and cooling bills, electricity bills, roof repairs, exterior painting and flooring. And lest we forget the mundane, every square foot needs to be cleaned. Bigger houses equal longer cleaning hours.

Does the home offer enough privacy for your comfort? Smaller lot sizes mean tighter boundary lines between homes. Walk around the house and look out each window. Will you be able to open your bedroom curtains without exposing yourself to the neighbor? Could you enjoy your outdoor space without being on display? If privacy is important to you, don’t compromise on this point. Hedges can be planted but they take time to grow. Fences are expensive to install and sometimes aren’t high enough to block distant views.

Is the home environmentally safe? Radon air and water tests are useful, but there are other potential environmental hazards in a home. Ask your home inspector to specifically check for mold (especially if the home has central air conditioning), rodent or insect infestation, and inferior wallboard. Ask about lead paint if the house is older, and check along basement baseboards for signs of water infiltration. Water damage is one of the most destructive things that can occur in a home. If you see water stains along the walls or in the attic near rooflines, investigate further.

Are the home’s operating systems in good working order? Even before you invest in a home inspection, you can easily check the mechanical operation of the plumbing. Don’t be shy about flushing toilets and turning on water taps, including the tub and shower. These simple acts communicate volumes about the quality of the water and the water pressure. Turn lights on and off as you walk around the house. If appliances are expected to be included in the home purchase price, test each of them. Turn on the range knobs to ensure they heat up as expected. Operate the microwave. The refrigerator doors should have a tight seal. Turn on the washing machine for a moment and let the dryer spin a few times to make sure they work. Visually inspect the water heater, furnace and any air conditioning units. If these units appear dirty or rusty, chances are the system has not been maintained. Quality Elizabethtown KY home inspectors will check these things but be sure to ask anyway.

These tips don’t represent the exciting part of looking at a home to buy in the Fort Knox Kentucky Area. It’s much more fun to fantasize about the amazing kitchen and imagine your kids or dog frolicking in the backyard sunshine. But spending some time going over each home purchase tip before you buy your new home can safeguard you from costly surprises after you’ve bought your home. Make your American dream a happy reality, not a nightmare.