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May 22nd, 2012

Found the home for you? Look again

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Sold sign resizedSince the home-buying process can be a long and arduous one, there’s no better feeling when you think you have finally found a property that you’re ready to call home. But Jeff Brown, reporter for MainStreet.com, said that before you sign away on the dotted line, you really need to take second, third, or maybe even fourth look at this potential property.

“Ideally,” writes Brown in a MainStreet article that was recently published on HSH.com, “the buyer should set up a series of visits to make sure the home really is just right.” And that means multiple visits on different days.

Rain or shine

Let’s say you visited this perspective property on a bright, sunny day. That home and surrounding property might look completely different after a couple days of steady rain. Perhaps the front lawn doesn’t drain properly, and rain water collects in puddles. Or, the gutters could be packed so solid with leaves and debris that rainwater overflows around the foundation.

Day and night

What if you toured this property at dusk, after a long day at work? You may have missed the unobstructed sunlight that pours through the kitchen windows, making it nearly impossible to enjoy the morning paper and your cup of coffee at the kitchen table.

Read: Homebuyers: It’s OK to overlook these 8 flaws

As Brown explained, maybe that back patio you fell in love with turns into a sauna under the midday sun.

School’s out

Finally, what does your neighborhood look and feel like once kids are out of school? “Anti-discrimination laws keep Realtors from talking freely about numbers of school children, older residents and minorities,” wrote Brown. “But many buyers want to know their kids will have playmates, while others would prefer quiet.”

“You can investigate by checking out the bus stops. If the seller or agent doesn’t know, the school district can tell you the bus schedules for elementary, middle school and high school students.”

Your home will likely be the largest investment you make in your lifetime. And, if you’re a smart shopper, you’ll be shopping for a “home,” not a short-term investment banked on price appreciation. Brown concludes, “If you don’t find you want to go back over and over, maybe that home’s not for you.”

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One Response to “Found the home for you? Look again”

  1. Mitch Mitchell Says: June 11th, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Man, did I need this post 12 years ago! We bought the house on a whim after another house had disappointed us greatly. It looked great, but after we bought it we learned it had/has significant issues. All these years later we’ve fixed some, but others are just too costly to address even now. But we were new at it; I’d never make that kind of mistake again, and this post highlights why.

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HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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