It's not the best home. It's not the dream home. Neither is it the worst home, the ugliest home, the dump. And believe me there were lots of those out there. As much as you can save money on a fixer upper, I'm sorry stuck in the 70's style, gold shag carpet, harvest green appliances, pink tub, toilet and sink, bright purple and green flowered mactac papered kitchen walls... it's just too much for one woman to handle.
The house we've chosen needs some fixing but it's completely livable the way it is until we can afford to fix stuff. Plus it comes with a pool. Wahoo!
So here are some tips today re buying your own house.
- Do not try to see too many homes.
- Make a list of absolute "must haves" followed by a list of "would like" but is negotiable. Narrow your home choices down that way. Viewing homes that do not fit into your needs wastes your time, the realtor's, the home owner's and may sway you into choosing a home that really doesn't work for you. Like if it has a really great pool in the backyard but the kitchen is the size of a pin and you have 5 kids. That pool is going to be great in the summer but what about the winter?
- Take your list with you. Make a note of the room sizes, locations, bathrooms, layout etc. You will be surprised at the little details you can't remember when you get home... like where the laundry room is. We completely missed that on the first viewing. We couldn't remember if it was a tub and shower in the en suite bathroom or just a shower.
- Look at the ceiling, always a good guide if there was any water damage.
- check in to corners of the closets, a great place for mold.
- Try to look past the home owner's decor and furniture. Can you picture your stuff in it? This can be especially hard if a home has been staged. That lovely rented furniture won't be staying. Will the house still look so nice when you've got your own perhaps rather dated or rather worn furniture in it?
- Scout out the neighbourhood. What do the other homes look like? Are they well kept or rundown?
- If you can, drive through the neighbourhood at different times of the day. What is the noise level like in the morning vs the night, the traffic flow, etc.
- Take a walk through the neighbourhood and see what is has to offer. Are there parks around, where is the closest school. Is it a good school.
On a second showing, things to look out for:
- check where the telephone and cable outlets are. How many are they, are they in a convenient location.
- Check room measurements, bring a tape measure. Are the room sizes quoted accurate? Will your furniture fit. For example: we measured our washer and dryer to ensure they'd fit into the closet where the current laundry hook ups are. They do.
- Where are the crawl space and attic access (if you have them).
- What condition are the appliances in. Are they included in the sale?
- Make a note of anything extra you want to ask for if you make an offer. Do the living room curtains look like they only would belong in that house. In our home we have a rather large picture window and we are leaving the curtains behind because they are very long and obviously were made specifically for the size of the window. Don't hesitate to ask for extras, just be prepared to pay a little.
Well, those are my tips for today. It's getting rather late and that's all I can think of for now.