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Important Things to Keep in Mind while Looking for Properties

posted by Stephen Katz @ 1:17 PM
Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Without sufficient planning, finding a new home can be a nightmare for anyone looking to relocate. But with a bit of preparation including a property checklist and the right questions, the search for a new home can become a stress-free, even enjoyable experience.
One valuable piece of advice for homebuyers is to arrange for your insurance to go into effect on the day that you move into your new home. It’s also a smart idea to discuss this with your roommate, as he or she may have also let this fall by the wayside. And when your friend trips on a rug and breaks a leg, who wants to be surprised by a bill for what could amount to thousands of dollars?

Experts say it’s best to know what you’re looking for before you begin to look. A bit of preparation, including listing the features that you’ll want in a new home can save you considerable time down the road as the legwork and property viewing schedules will pile up. Here is some advice for homebuyers to keep in mind while looking for a new home:

HOUSE CONDITION: If you’re looking to save money, you might confine your search to fixer-uppers — properties that require renovation.

HOUSE STYLE: There are several home styles to choose from — everything from Cape Cods and Split-Levels, Ranch, Colonials or Victorians. Know your tastes.

LIVING SPACE: How much square footage will you or your family need to live comfortably. How much do you currently have? Are you planning on growing-or reducing-the amount of family members in your living space.

BEDROOMS: How many bedrooms do you need? Do they need to be on the same floor as you?

BACKYARD: What size backyard? Must it be fenced to keep kids or pets from running astray? Planning on a pool for the future, and if so, are you zoned for one?

NEIGHBORHOOD: What should the surrounding area be like? Are you looking for something more urban, or is a rural setting preferred? What amenities, such as shopping and public transportation, would you like close by? If you have children, do you need a home located in a specific school zone?

PARKING: How large of a driveway do you need? How many vehicles do you own?

AVAILABILITY: When would you like to actually move in? Some owners are not prepared to vacate their homes immediately. When must you vacate yours?

Eliminate any properties that don’t meet your criteria or are out of your price range. Once this list is compiled you can begin house hunting — but be sure to bring along a notepad and your property inspection checklist to help you evaluate, and remember the properties visited.

Count on visiting your favorites properties more than once. The first visit affords an overall impression of the home and neighborhood while the return visit(s) fills in the details. Be sure to explore the neighborhood and speak with neighbors if possible. Take a drive from the home to your work and get a feel for the commute. Purchase the local paper and find out what’s happening in the area. You might also consider visiting the property at various times during the day which is especially helpful when evaluating traffic patterns and lighting conditions.

If the seller is available, ask why the home is on the market, the monthly cost of utilities, quality of the schools, neighborhood safety and any other questions that come to mind. Always remember to keep negative comments regarding the property to yourself when the owner is present.

Stephen Katz

(770) 309-0939 (direct) or (866) 742-8400 -- For the past 18 years, Stephen Katz has built a successful business almost entirely on referrals. As your mortgage consultant throughout the home loan process, Stephen will explain the pros and cons of all available mortgage programs and help you choose the financing option that is best suited to your needs. Throughout the loan process, he will keep you informed and will respond quickly to your requests with answers and solutions. Consistently a top producer, Stephen is a Mortgage Bankers Association "Diamond" Award winner, a Georgia Mortgage "Top Gun" and has closed almost half a billion dollars in loans. Put his knowledge and experience to work for you!

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