Helpful New Buyer Hints
Scout The Neighborhood Before Buying
Choose a neighbourhood that matches your desires and needs. Visit area on three separate occasions (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) and at different times of the day. Ask neighbors about the neighborhood city services, schools, shopping, recreation, noise, safety, traffic flow etc..
If You Purchase A "Fixer Upper" Tackle one project at a time
The temptation when you buy an older home is to try to do too much at one time. Fixing the porch, remodelling the kitchen, replacing the fence, updating the bathroom, re-doing the landscaping and painting might be too much to try at one time. fence. Before you know it, you and your family may find yourself NOT enjoying your new home for an extended period of time because your entire house AND yard up. Ultimately it will all come together, but there may be a lot of added stress with everything going on at once.
Keep a Homeowner's Journal
Purchase and maintain a journal record of repairs, invoices, plans/sketches, estimates and all other paperwork pertaining to the house in it. Storing all your house information in one handy place makes life easier for the homeowner and can be a sales 'plus' when selling the house later.
Get to know your house before making big changes
It is suggested that you live in and enjoy your new home for 12 to 18 months before planning and undertaking any major renovations. Keep a running record of desired changes and adjust over time. As you get to know your surroundings, you may find that your perceptions of what needs to be renovated may change.
Check the furnace filter and in "nooks and crannys"
Checking behind the furnace filter, bathroom fan motors, underneath appliances, in attics spaces, in crawl spaces, behind the furnace, under sinks, behind drawer and doors, behind hedges and other less visible locations may reveal whether the previous owner took care of regular maintenance.
Don't be afraid to DIY [Do It Yourself]
Tell yourself it is OKAY to try some repairs and renovations yourself. Many household jobs are manageable with a little ingenuity, elbow greese, research and a few simple tools. Success may vary, but you can always bring in a professional tradesperson to correct or finish a job. Often, you will complete the job quite nicely while saving money, learning a new skill and enjoying a great sense of accomplishment.
Finish projects . . . Now
Make sure you use the proper tools and follow the old adage of "Good" "Better" "Best" when purchasing materials. Complete or get help to finish avery project in a timely manner so you can enjoy the results. Don't learn to live with incomplete projects. The last couple of pieces of trim can linger for years!
Budget for trouble
When you buy an older home, check out the furnace, hot water tank, plumbing, wiring, windows, doors, roof, gutters and other structural attributes. Not everytning will need to be replaced right away, but be sure to lay out both short and long range plans for addressing items that will need attention. Repairing the funrace before it fails in winter, or replacing the hot water tank before you have guests in the home will be apprciated by all. Having a plan will allow you to set priorities while making repairs and adjustments in a timely manner without being a financial shock.
It is important to insist on full written disclosure from the seller about remodeling, repairs, old damage, leaks, mold and other elements that are signficant to your safety and comfort in your new home. Check with the city authorities regarding the property permit history, zoning, prior uses, homeowners' association restrictions and anything else you can find out.
Try to get a home warranty or price reduction for anticipated issues
A warranty can save you from unanticipated expenses related to a faulty dishwasher, inefficient furnace, plumbing leaks and roof issues.
Offer to buy the tools and yard equipment too
Buying a home from owners who are downsizing may give you the opportunity to purchase garden tools, tractors, snow blowers and other needed tools in general.
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