Okay, I have to confess, I FELL in LOVE at first sight. I was in Boulder attending CU and studying music. I clearly remember…I was a junior, it was early September, sun was shining, 80 degrees and I was hanging out with friends by the pond at Kittridge Hall. And then it happened. I glanced to the left, and there she was. Walking down the sidewalk, blonde hair backlite, wearing that cute, adorable yellow sun dress. I was entranced, spellbound, awestruck! I hadn’t even introduced myself that moment and I was already planning our wedding!
Fast forward…that stunning blonde and I are celebrating our 32nd anniversary this year! So, what’s the lesson? Well, we took our time and dated a good long time before tying the knot. During our dating days, we really got to know each other! The good, the bad and well, not too much ugly. She loved dance, I loved music. She liked burritos, I liked chocolate. I loved to hunt, she was supportive. I did not care for baseball, same with her! We both wanted kiddos, we loved to ski, we were adventuresome, and knew we would one day call Colorado our home!
So, it may be a bit of a stretch, but the same applies when buying your next home. Don’t go in blind, enamored with the look, price or location. It will likely be another feeding frenzy year, so be careful you don’t jump in head first without doing your due diligence.
Here are simple 10 steps to ensure you buy well and not regret your decision a few years down the road.
1. Home Inspection – Don’t skip this step. Hire a professional home inspector who will provide an impartial appraisal of the home. They will point out the good, the bad and the ugly!
2. How’s the roof? – Bad roof, bad house. Well, unless the roof is repaired or replaced
3. HVAC – This could be a major expense, so be sure to have it inspected by an industry professional.
4. HOA – Does your home reside in a Home Owners Association? If so, be sure to read the by-laws and covenants. Also, be sure to review the financials. Are there enough reserves for repairs and improvements. You don’t want to be surprised by a special assessment because of mismanaged or underfunded reserves.
5. Neighborhood – Look around. What is the condition of neighboring homes? Are yards clean and is the landscaping attractive. How about cars, streets, noise? The value of your home is tied to the neighborhood.
6. Storage – Does your home have adequate storage space? Are there shelves and is there easy access? Remember, “stuff” just accumulates over the years!
7. Appliances – Basic, I know. But be sure you are clear on what appliances are included in the sale of the home. It’s a bummer to move in to find the fridge is missing. How are you gonna keep the wine chilled?
8. Schools – Check out the schools. Even if you don’t have children, the performance of your local school can have an influence in the value of your home.
9. Resale – We’re looking way into the future. But that’s okay. Ask your Realtor to help evaluate the resale in the future. Take into consideration improvements you may make, desirability of your home for a broad audience, market trends and more.
10. Future Area Plans – Check with the city and county to learn of any new projects that could influence the value of your home purchase. And remember, it can go both ways. A new Recreation Center a few blocks away can have a very positive impact on future value.
My list is certainly not exhaustive, but that’s why you hire a Pro like me! We’ll help you make a great choice. As my clients know, I have not been afraid to steer them away from a bad home purchase. I don’t want my clients to end up in a bad marriage…I mean “HOME!” So be sure to do your Due Diligence before you say “I Do!”