What’s Important to You in a Home?
Buying a house brings up many questions and ideas of what is important. Our checklist of questions should help you formulate well thought out wish list.
- How long do you plan to live there? The longer you plan to stay, the more life changes you’ll need to plan for.
- Do you have or plan to have kids? Consider schools, bedrooms, playroom, yard size, parks.
- Want a fixer? Do you have the time, money & commitment to see it through?
- Is a new home or older home best for you?
- Do you need to be near public transportation?
- Will you like or dislike having a Homeowners Association?
Finding a home with space to convert to living areas such as an attic or basement may solve future needs.
- Will parking for guests be necessary?
- Is a garage a must?
- Need a large yard or will maintenance overwhelm you?
- Is a pool or hot tub a plus or a minus?
- What home styles are ideal and which are a definite “no”?
- If you need a fenced yard, can you afford to build one?
- Is a lot of landscaping or gardening good or bad?
- Do you like or dislike basements?
- How many bedrooms/den/office space you’ll need?
- Are there floorplans or styles that you dislike?
- How many bathrooms will you need over the time you’ll own the home? Consider kids, roommates and overnight visitors.
- Can you afford to do cosmetic work such as carpet and paint?
- Do you like or dislike a wood stove or fireplace?
Positives & Negatives of Condos, Townhomes & Detached Homes
- You can lock up your home and be gone for weeks at a time with few worries
- You don’t ever have to paint the siding or repair the roof
- You may get to use a nice pool without having to pay to install or maintain it by yourself
- Many owners feel more secure because there are neighbors watching out for you
- Condos are less expensive than detached homes in the same neighborhood
- There may be restrictions on the size, number or type of pets you have
- If the HOA does not have enough money for maintenance problems, they can assess you thousands of dollars to pay for it. We’ve seen special assessment as high as $40,000 for major repairs that were not properly budgeted for.
- How do they pay for major improvements – from reserves built up from monthly fees or from special assessments at the time of a problem?
- You may hear more noise from neighbors than in a detached home
- Condos don’t tend to sell as quickly as single family homes
- You may not be able to rent your unit out, depending on the rules for the complex
- Condo complexes must be “approved” in order to obtain FHA financing (talk to your lender)
- Typically easier to sell than a condo since it is more like a detached home
- Less expensive than a detached home
- Ease of living because much of the maintenance may be taken care of by the HOA
- You may get the benefit of a pool, tennis courts, etc. without the expense of
- Owning them by yourself
- Like condos, you will be subject to the rules and restrictions of the neighborhood
- Townhouses can have special assessments like condos
- When its time to sell, you’ll have something very similar to other unit owners so it can be harder to sell than a detached home
- Usually the easiest to sell and the most sought after form of ownership
- No monthly dues in most cases
- Control over painting, landscaping, expenses and maintenance