Checklist Before You Buy
Here are a few things to consider before you buy:
1. Hire an expert to do your own home inspections and attend them if possible.
2. Evaluate possible repairs/immediate improvements. Ask the seller to repair them or include the cost into your bidding.
3. Purchase an environmental report.
4. Know all of the vital systems that connect to the house (electrical, sewage, heating, air conditioning, garbage disposal, and water.) Investigate the ins and outs of these systems.
5. Perform an energy audit. Confirm that your budget will match what your new home is going to cost on a monthly basis.
6. Examine potential neighborhoods with a 24-hour perspective. Are there any dogs howling late at night? Again be sure there are no surprises.
7. Do multiple practice commutes. One day is not enough time to judge the next 5+ years of driving to work.
8. Consider your furniture, electronics and appliances. Will they fit into the new home or will you need to purchase new home furnishings?
9. Know the local political landscape. Are there any issues you should know about? Make sure you understand how utilities, schools and public services are funded.
10. Research the local area to understand its economics, climate, and variables that will be part of your long-term lifestyle.
Know Your Neighborhood
When you buy a home, you're investing in a community. You'll spend a significant amount of time and money supporting the schools, community organizations and commercial centers in the surrounding areas. Before you make the final decision, take a good look at the location and make sure it fits your needs.
• Evaluate the properties proximity to other important locations in your life. How long will your commute time be? Is there a hospital or doctor's office nearby? What about schools, childcare, shopping, family and friends?
• Consider all of your transportation options. A new home could lend it self to public transportation options or car-pooling. Depending on the type of community, you may be able to find alternative methods of transportation. Take the time to drive from the new home to your commuting destinations to understand the impact it will have on your lifestyle.
• Visit and understand the school district you'll be moving in to. Even if you don't have children in the school system now, you may some day. The district reputation could positively or negatively impact the selling price as well.
• Make sure you feel comfortable in the area. Drive around the neighborhood at different times of the day and night on multiple days of the week to observe activity/noise levels. Discovering that barking dog next door or noisy road conditions will eliminate unneeded stress from a hasty decision.
Please feel free to contact me for a list of schools, shopping centers, parks or other important amenities. Buying a new home is about more than the structure and property. It's about your new lifestyle as well.
Christopher Oscar, REALTOR® DRE License # 01343785
President of the Sonoma Valley Chapter of REALTORS®
CENTURY 21 Wine Country 707-287-2285