Evaluating a house
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  Home Buying Tips: Ten Practical Pointers
  When Evaluating a House or Condo

1. How do you get the groceries
     into the house? 

Evaluate the process of carrying things from the car parking area to the kitchen or mudroom. Look carefully at the route and the obstacles. If the present set up isn't ideal, is there a simple solution?

2. What wall does the bed fit on?

Some houses have window placement that forces you to place a bed by or under a window. The designers wanted the house to look correct from the exterior, even though that meant sacrificing logical furniture placement along a wall. Do you care if the king or queensized bed must go under a window or at an unusual angle?

3. A tree!

Landscaping enhances the enjoyment of your home, brings good karma or feng shui, and even adds monetary value. The time is money rule applies especially to landscaping. A beautifully landscaped yard with mature shrubs and specimen trees takes years to establish. Pay attention to what a property offers outdoors. If there are trees that haven't been maintained well or need to be removed, you can anticipate additional landscaping expenses.

4. That lawn!

How big is it? Who mows it and at what annual cost? If you are a condo buyer, compare the landscaping budgets of different complexes to see if your condo fees will be higher because of additional landscaping expenses. How important is a very green lawn to you? Many Cape Codders have a "Cape Cod" lawn, where grass or ground cover are left as much as possible in their natural state. But even a pine needle lawn needs regular grooming.

5. Go back to the property and neighborhood
    at different times of day and night.

At different times of day, sunlight will be in different parts of the house, making the living space more or less inviting. After conventional work hours, the neighborhood may have many more vehicles around than when you saw the house at midday while folks were away from home. Does the neighborhood have adequate parking on the street and on each person's property?

6. Sit down!

Change your viewing perspective and slow down. Actually when you are home, you are probably more likely to be seated. See how the living space is from this angle.

7. Electric Heat. Consider it just one more appliance.

It's easy to switch from electric heat to a new, state of the art, efficient heating system of your own choice. You then get the use of a new heating system for 100% use of its functional life. When you look at electric heat this way, homes with older, less efficient gas or oil systems may make a house less desirable to purchase than an all-electric house! Most buyers are unduly afraid of electric heating bills and will not even look at a home with electric heat. This becomes another advantage to you because it reduces the pool of competing buyers. Some homes built for electric heat were required to have extra insulation. This makes the house quieter as well as being easier to heat. These are things you wouldn't necessarily retrofit into a house because of the expense and inconvenience, but it would be nice to have them already there. And if you convert to a different system, you'd still have the benefit of this extra insulation, etc.

8. Sunlight

If you find a part of the dwelling lacks sufficient daylight, it is possible to use light bulbs that have the full spectrum of light waves to correct this deficiency. At certain times of the year, some rooms may tend to be dark. Some hallway bathrooms lack any windows, and some condos may have their kitchens on an inside wall. Basements are brighter and more pleasant with full spectrum bulbs. House plants will thrive, too!

9. Measure

When you are looking, measure that special piece of furniture or rug that must fit into your new home. Bring the measurements and the tape measure with you when house-hunting!

10. You'll recognize your new house when you see it.


Finding the right house can be like picking a family member out of a crowd. When all else fails, trust your instincts.

The Scoop on
Cape Cod Real Estate

email: marietta@capebuyerbroker.com 
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