You love the wood floors, chef’s kitchen, and spa-like bathroom. But remember that there’s more to a property than features and looks. Here are additional items to consider before you make an offer. Will It Be Loud? That idyllic street you saw on a Sunday open house might turn into a commuters’ cut-through during the week. Or a nearby grade crossing might prompt frequent train horns in the middle of the night. Visit the home at different times on different days to get a sense for what the noise level is like, and consider asking current neighbors about sources of significant noise and traffic. How Old Is That Really Expensive Thing To Replace? The seller’s disclosure notice may alert you to known issues with major appliances and systems, but those sources won’t tell you that the HVAC or roof is nearing the end of its lifespan. Knowing the age of certain items can help estimate when they need to be replaced. A home inspector can likely give you information about whether certain systems are deficient, but don’t count on an inspection to reveal how much life is left in a component. In some cases, the installation date may be available or visible. Can I Do It My Way? Homeowners associations can benefit property owners but they come with rules and regulations that must be followed. Be sure to review all documents from an HOA before you commit to a purchase. Likewise, city codes and ordinances restrict what you can do with your property. You don’t want to find out after you close that you can’t park your boat trailer in the driveway or paint your house your favorite shade of red. Will the View Change? That view of the hills or lake or city skyline can be a huge selling point. But will that feature remain? If you’re buying in a master planned community, check with the builder to see if there are plans to develop something that may obstruct the view. Otherwise, you can look into the area’s zoning to understand whether that scenic view might be jeopardized. Keep in mind that development plans and zoning are subject to change in the future.
Moving into a new home can be equally exciting and disruptive—not just for you and your family but for your animals as well. Since pets are creatures of habit, changing the environment can cause anxiety. Here are four ways to make the transition to the new setting easier. Restrict Access In the beginning, limit access to certain rooms so that it isn’t so overwhelming. Take your pets on a tour of the available rooms and let them roll around to incorporate their own scent. Make it Familiar There may be a temptation to buy new things for the new space. However, it’s best to incorporate recognizable scents. Keep their bed, toys, cat tree, blanket, or other favorite items around. It can also help if you stay home as much as possible the first few days to make them feel more comfortable. Don’t Mess with Routines This isn’t the time to stop letting them sleep on the bed or change the type of food they eat. The key is to create consistency and stability. If your dog is used to walks at six in the morning and again at five, stick to it. The same goes for feeding time. Have Patience During the orientation period there may be bathroom accidents, excessive barking, or frequent hiding. Give your pets space and time to get acclimated. If needed, contact a veterinarian for additional coping strategies. Need a recommendation for a vet in the area? Check with your REALTOR®.