You’ve been looking at properties for months and have finally found one that is in budget and has the requisite number of bedrooms and bathrooms. You think it could be the one, but before you put in an offer, ask yourself these four questions to help you avoid buyer’s remorse.
How easy is it to get to where I need to be?
Proximity to transportation is important. Whether you drive, bike, or use public transportation, you have places you need to go. We recommend making a list of the places you visit in a typical month and figuring out how you would get from your potential new home to each of those locations. It is easy to lose track of the exact location of a home when you are visiting multiple properties in a day, so head back to the neighborhood to time the walk to the train or bus stop and to see whether there is plentiful street parking.
Does this layout fit the way I live?
When a home is staged well, you can walk in and imagine living there. However, the realities of daily life are often different than what appeals to us in a staged home. An important question to consider is where you and your family spend the most time. If the hub of your home is the kitchen, then having a breakfast bar or room for a kitchen table will offer room for people to congregate. An open floor plan could be perfect for people who love to entertain, but might not work if your family members need separate spaces to retreat to after a long day. Everyone lives in their space differently, so pay attention to what rooms you use the most and where the bottlenecks are in your current home.
How long am I planning on living here?
Life is full of surprises, so you probably don’t know where you are going to be ten years from now. When you are buying a home with the intention of only living there for a few years, resale value and appeal will be an important consideration for you. A unique property may be perfect for you, but will have a smaller buyer pool when you try to sell. If you are planning on turning your home into a rental property when you move to your next place, double check the condo or co-op restrictions about renting. Finding into a long-term home can be very appealing to people who dislike packing and moving their belongings every few years. The home may be perfect for you now, but it is important to think about whether the space will be sufficient as your life changes.
What upcoming expenses will this property require?
A quick way for you to sour on your new home is to discover that the expenses are piling up before you’ve finished unpacking. You will want to check the age and condition of the water heater, furnace, and other mechanicals so you can be aware of whether those are nearing the end of their expected life. Kitchen and laundry appliances should also be checked. Finding out when the roof was last replaced and when the electrical and plumbing was last updated will help you better understand what maintenance projects will need to be tackled in the future. If you are buying a condo or co-op, it is also important that the homeowners association is financially healthy and has been taking good care of the building. Deferred maintenance or low reserves could mean that a special assessment will be levied in the future.
Thinking about buying in Chicago? We’d love to help you find a home that is a perfect fit! Email Joe today: firstname.lastname@example.org