When shopping for a home we've heard the old adage that location is everything? Location is important and one of the few things you can't change about a home but there are a number of other key factors you want to take into account when shopping and knowing what these are will save you countless hours of time and most importantly, save you thousands of dollars! Cosmetic issues like dirt and decor are easily remedied and shouldn't spoil you on an otherwise good home. Below, however, are some things that should be potential deal breakers for buyers.
• Location. There are many things you can change about a home, but location isn't one of them. A property in a location that requires too long a commute; is in an unsafe neighborhood; lacks quality schools and other amenities; or has some other barrier to quality of life or resale value (such as noise or odor) is one you'll no doubt regret purchasing.
• Floor plan. A poor floor plan - that's to say, one that doesn't work given your particular needs and lifestyle - makes life at home more difficult on a day-to-day basis. A home that's harder to live in isn't one where you'll want to stay for very long. For buyers who love to entertain, for example, that too-tiny kitchen and closed-concept floor plan just won't do.
• Bone structure. Problems with a property’s “bones” include a variety of items such as: its foundation, walls, floors, roof, plumbing system, or electrical system. These are very costly to fix and have a huge impact on resale value. Being able to walk away from a property with compromised integrity (perhaps caused by water damage or pest infestation, for example) is why home-inspection conditions are so important.
• Health and safety. Just as home inspections can uncover structural problems, they can turn up health and safety issues too. Some, like a lack of ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), are minor and easily addressed. Other issues- like black mold or asbestos, which can be toxic, or faulty wiring, which can cause fires- are serious, and not something buyers should overlook.
Hire an experienced agent who can help guide you through the process and educate you on ways to avoid these, and many other pitfalls.