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Four Things To Remember When Searching For The Right Property
At this point, everyone has heard the basics to buying a home: Get your credit straight, have a sizable down payment, "Location, location, location," etc. But buying a home is often an emotional process, and buyers can overlook little things that have big impact. Here are four things to remember in your search for the right property.
1. LOT SIZE
Space in Philly is limited, and getting the maximum amount of pre-existing square footage is a must. (You'd be surprised how much more spacious a 14-foot wide row home feels compared to a 12-foot wide one.) If you're planning on growing into a home with future renovations or expansions, make sure you plan ahead by knowing the zoning codes, and just how tall you can build upwards since that's likely going to be the only direction you can go.
2. DON'T GET HUNG UP ON THINGS YOU CAN CHANGE
We've all had that moment watching HGTV, when a buyer scoffs at an ugly puke-colored bathroom, and you yell at the TV, "You can paint the bathroom, idiot!" And yet, you're more than likely going to have a few of these moments of your own during your search. Having trouble picturing yourself in a home that your realtor says has real potential because of the previous owner's questionable décor choices? Take a deep breath and tell yourself, "I will not be like that idiot on HGTV."
3. NEIGHBORHOOD LIFE
A house in an "up-and-coming" neighborhood may make for a good investment, but it also has to be your home 365 days a year. Spend some real time investigating any neighborhood you're considering to see what everyday life is like there. Is there that one neighbor with the constantly barking dogs? Does a nearby bar lead to loud drunks stumbling around late at night? Are there tons of gingko trees, just waiting to make a stinky mess on the block? Get to know the neighborhood around your prospective home to see if it really is the right fit for your family's life.
4. THE HOUSE'S HISTORY
Sometimes a house's past can contain hidden red flags that buyers often overlook. Head on over to your county's Assessor website and do a search on the property's history. Does it seem like previous owners didn't stay long, or the house's price fluctuated strangely? Try asking your seller for a Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange report on the property, which will reveal all insurance claims made in the past five years. It all may reveal some juicy dirt you never even dreamed of finding.