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.
Downsizing can be a daunting and time-consuming process. Check out these three tips on how to get prepared for moving into a smaller home. Give Yourself Time Not only will you want to start planning early so that you don’t feel overwhelmed, but you’ll also want to give yourself time to reminisce over the sentimental items you uncover when packing. Take the time to enjoy the memories instead of stressing about the process. Make a List Write down what rooms (including storage spaces) will be in your new home and what furniture or essential items you will need for the space. Measure the rooms ahead of time to ensure they will fit. Create Piles Sort your possessions into keep and don’t keep piles. By sorting into piles, you can weed out duplicates and what is no longer necessary. Then, donate, sell, or throw away the stuff you aren’t going to keep. Don’t feel like you need to do it all by yourself. Ask your REALTOR® for recommendations for donation sites, reliable movers, a professional organizer, or other relocation services.