Househunting: Recent Buyers Chime In

Every Realtor has a checklist of questions you should ask yourself when evaluating a home for purchase. This article throws that checklist out and summarizes actual factors recent buyers used in their decisions. Spoiler alert: some of those buyers should've stuck with a Realtors list, because their factors were silly.

NOT silly. Is the house riddled with pests?

In no particular order, a list of questions recently asked by buyers in their decision making (no judgments here):

How much will it cost to heat this place? Central air?

How much am I saving on the house because of the renovations it needs? If I get new electrical, will that add more value to the house than it costs?

How does the house smell?

What is the situation with trees? Healthy? Future root issues? Very expensive to chop 'em down.

Who are your neighbors?

How far will the wi-fi travel? Will I have to buy extenders? (Answer: who cares? This is a $100 issue at worst.)

Does the house back up to a busy street? Can I hear myself think over the noise?

Are there railroad tracks nearby? I'm done with that @#$%$# guy blowing his horn in the middle of the night. Next house will not have a railroad within 5 miles.

Is there an alternate way to work if there is a crash at the intersection of OnlyWayThere Street and YoureHosed Lane?

How long is the driveway? Zoning. Is there any possibility that this street could get changed by a zoning change?

3 more things buyers asked about: neighbors, taxes and dogs.

Who are the neighbors? Their backyard tells a lot about them. Why won't my Realtor tell me about them? (In most cases, it's because we can't.)

Is a loud dog losing its mind that you dared venture anywhere near his domain?

Is the tax rate different here than what I expect?

Is the home so unique that it's apparent the existing homeowner did lots of un-permitted work, or work that only HE/SHE can easily understand? DIY'ers are notoriously bad at electrical.

Imagine what he left in place BEHIND walls...

Are there a ton of cars parked on the street? Why?

What's the HOA situation? Ask a neighbor if there are any tinpot dictators trying to rule over the lives of the masses.

Are there invasive plants on the property?

Not a planter box. That's a 14-foot high fern inside the gutter.

What can't I live without? Does this house have it?

How many times has this house been sold in the last 10 years? How about the street? High turnover means people aren't liking these homes. Does it appear like the neighbors are all renters? That could hurt my resale value.

In summary, there will always be questions to be asked that might scare you. Don't let it. Homes rock. One best-selling author said it best:

Credits:

Created with images by 193584 - "resort architecture building" • rioncm - "P1030936" • rioncm - "P1030986" • Jonas B - "Caution Infernal Traffic" • John-Morgan - "Taxes" • IntangibleArts - "The nosy neighbor" • Tonp1 - "Across the fence"

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