Fall is one of the busiest times of the year for homeowners and sellers alike, but for buyers in particular, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with your never-ending search. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, 52% of home buyers cited finding the right property as the most difficult part of buying a home. Of course, that’s why it helps to have some smart home buying tips in hand before starting the journey.
With that in mind, here are just a few important aspects to keep in mind before starting your home search.
As far as location is concerned, you’ll have to consider more than simply urban versus suburban. This is especially important when moving out of state or to an area more prone to natural disasters. If this is the case, then make sure every home you look at is thoroughly protected at the foundation. ICF (insulated concrete form) construction protects properties from certain natural disasters because they’re capable of withstanding 250 mile-per-hour winds.
When it comes to smart home buying tips, another important aspect of location to remember is sloping. For desired locations with fierce winters, getting your vehicle in and out of a steep driveway is a serious challenge. So make sure you’re up for it.
When considering home maintenance, don’t just consider the current state of the home. Instead, consider the property as a whole. About 85 million US households have private lawns, so always anticipate the landscaping maintenance that comes with your yard size. If you desire a home with minimal maintenance, but you still want an outdoor entertainment area, consider new construction. Not only do newly built homes require less maintenance, but according to the Census Bureau’s Survey of Construction, 56% of new homes started this year have a patio, and there are countless ways to make your outdoor living space unique once you find the perfect home.
Finally, it’s no secret that many people — if not most people — are buying with sustainability and overall efficiency in mind. There are serious financial benefits that can come with buying a home with sustainable features, like a new and more efficient HVAC system or new windows. If you’ve decided that sustainability is definitely one of your values, there’s a very specific way to get a good idea of the quality of the HVAC system of any home you’re looking at:
First, check the AC’s filter. Has it been recently changed? Then try turning down the thermostat and see if the unit runs. Meanwhile, make sure air is blowing through all the vents. Check out the outdoor condenser, listening for any strange sounds, and make sure the condensation line in the evaporator coil — likely found in the furnace — is flowing smoothly. Finally, examine the ductwork, looking for any rusting or poor fittings.
Of course, these are just a few of the many considerations and decisions you’ll have to make during your dream home hunt. Don’t hesitate to ask your realtor for fall-specific home hunting advice!
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