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Analysis of the Homes You Visit

Library: Home Buying and Relocation: Home Buyer's Guide: Analysis of the Homes You Visit

Your search for the perfect home may take you to a number of houses, some of which will interest you more than others. It is therefore important to make a list of all the homes you visit and track the features of each home in a format that you can use for objective comparison.

When you look at a home, you'll need to inspect it from the ground up. Keep notes. If a camera is available, attach a picture to each description so you can better evaluate each property.

Check on the condition of the plumbing, heating and electrical systems. Examine the condition of the doors, windows, floors and the roofing. Note any items that appear will need repairs or replacement. The severity of the problem uncovered during the home inspection and the cost of fixing it, may impact your offer amount.
A Consumer Home Inspection Kit prepared by Freddie Mac will explain how to conduct your own consumer home inspection with an easy­to­use, step­by­step approach.

You should be also concerned about potential environmental hazards in and around the home. They include asbestos, lead, radon, and other chemical contaminants that may cause health problems. Visit our page Environmental Hazards for additional information.

There are many other factors to consider when purchasing a home:

  • If you have children, you may want to know if there are other children in the neighborhood and what schools or playgrounds are nearby.
  • The house is suitably located for schools, churches, shopping facilities, transportation and your place of work.
  • The house is located so that you won't be bothered by noise, dirt, and danger from highways and other streets with heavy traffic.
  • The house will afford living accommodations which are sufficient to the needs and comfort of your family.
  • Rooms will accommodate desired furniture.
  • Drive provides easy access to garage.
  • Lot size and planting satisfactory.
  • Windows provide sufficient light and air.

Analyze your future housing expenses, including utilities, insurance, and property taxes. If you are required to become a member of a neighborhood homeowner association, ask about dues, rules and special assessments. The dues or periodic assessments payable to the association may be a significant expense item. Consider reading the association's declaration of covenants and restrictions before you buy and find out if you can live by them.

A homeowners' association manages the common areas of a planned unit development (PUD) or condominium project. In a PUD project, it holds title to the common elements. In a condominium project, it has no ownership interest in the common elements.

If you purchase a condominium the learning everything you can about the homeowner association is especially important. Poorly managed associations can drag down property values and make living there difficult for residents. Find out if dues are expected to increase and if any special assessments are planned. Speak with residents to get their views on the association's finances and how it operates.

Don't rush to buy, the home you select should meet all or the majority of your needs.

Related Articles:

A Consumer Home Inspection Kit prepared by Freddie Mac.
Environmental Hazards

Home Buyer's Guide Next Step: Determining the Amount to Offer

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