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Your Guide to Buying a Home

Everything you need to know to buy a home without an agent.

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Walkthrough Homes

The quintessential thing you want to do while walking through a home is ask yourself, “Could I live here?

If it doesn’t “feel” right, then you’re not going to buy it. This is the reason people need to walk through a home and not rely solely on the photos and virtual walkthroughs. There is a feeling associated with a home that can only be witnessed by physically walking through a home. If you cannot do this yourself, have a friend or relative walk through for you, or ask a real estate agent you really trust (not one who just wants to get the deal done).

While you may have already assessed the neighborhood during your search, we just want to remind you the importance of this aspect as you drive up to the home for a showing.

Is the neighborhood kept up? 

If the neighbors are neglecting their homes, trash left out, weeds instead of grass - this is a sign of declining value neighborhood. 

RVs and Boats

Do the neighbors have RVs and boats sitting in their driveways or on the street? Some people think these large items detract from the neighborhood, and some HOAs do not allow these to be visually seen from the street.

One danger of allowing RVs on the street or driveways is that sometimes you'll find additional people living in them.

Cars

Take a look at the cars along the street and driveways. Are there abandoned cars, expired tags, completely broken down cars on the street or driveways?

Kids

You can also look for kids in the neighborhood. This is worth doing especially if you have kids and looking for some neighborhood friends.

As you drive up to the home, check out the curb appeal. This is the sight you will see every time you come home! 

As you walk up to the home you can notice the exterior. Does the siding appear to be in tact? Does the roof look good, without any dips or holes? Is the paint holding up? Does it look like the home owners maintained their home?

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms for buyers. Even for those who don't cook much, the kitchen is still a centerpiece of a home.

Do keep in mind that appliances are easy to replace, and typically need to be replaced every 7-15 years anyway. Try not to make a decision based on these appliances, and focus on the things that are harder to update.

For things you do not like, you can consider remodeling. A big remodel can cost a lot of money, so make a smart decision and research.

  • How does the kitchen space feel?
    Is there enough space in the kitchen area?
    Is there enough workspace?
  • Do you like the cabinets? Style, color, condition. 
    If not, are they in great condition and just need a fresh stain or paint?
  • Do you like the countertop? Quartz and granite countertops can get expensive, but relatively easy to have replaced if keeping the same cabinets.
  • Open the cabinet under the kitchen sink. Do you see mold or water damage on the base floor of the cabinet? 

If you find yourself interested in this home, or something similar and want to keep this one in mind for comparisons then create a list of features and the condition of things. This can help you tremendously later, especially as homes you liked end up selling so you have a deep understanding of your comps!

Download our HomeGuided checklist to get started!

Use your list for each home your toured as your starting point for researching in preparation for putting in offers and negotiating.

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