Wednesday, May 10, 2006

'Home Buyers Checklist' In My Local Newspaper

Interesting read in my Sunday newspaper this past weekend. In the article, 7 main topics were pointed out. 1. Define your "wants" versus your "needs." A great point. I just wrote my article on my "realistic dream house," but out of that list what do I really need? It's easy to get sidetracked with wanting neat but very unessential items in a house. It's a good idea to have what you really need written down. 2. Check your credit rating. Done. This point speaks for itself I think. If you know where your credit score stands, and you are not in the upper tier, above 720, you can start making changes to improve your score to get better rates come mortgage time. 3. Investigate the neighborhood. Churches? Markets and stores? Well kept houses? Well maintained streets? Underground utilities? Younger families? Schools? This last point doesn't hold much value to me...right now, so it's easy to forget about it. But schools affect resale a lot from what I heard! Tons of things to consider about the neighborhood. 4. Be an informed buyer. I wasn't real clear on this point until I read the description a couple of times. What does it mean? Research resale prices? Study the real estate market? No, what they meant was know the restrictions of your neighborhood. I guess some private communities have restrictions on fencing, expansion, etc. I never thought about this one... 5. Insist on a home inspection. Purchase your own home protection plan. What's that? Sounds like some warranty for the to look into this one. The article didn't give much detail on this. But it did say to ask questions about the environmental concerns in your area...bugs (termites, ants), flooding, and rock falls maybe?? 6. Get help with the details. Supposedly there are "conceirge" services that help coordinate all the services involved with buying a home. I've never heard of this...isn't that what you real estate agent is supposed to do?? 7. Don't rush. Don't overlook property flaws or get over excited. The best advice I got out of this article. Even if I hear it over and over again, I just need to do it. Reference: The Honolulu Advertiser, "Home-buyers checklist keeps focus on details," May 7, 2006, R16. The article states that "knowing what questions to ask is more than half the battle." Cool, I like that quote...brings back childhood memories of a great cartoon series.


Dave Messina said...

The concierge services you mention take care of transferring over all your utilities, such as telephone, cable, and newspaper delivery. They do this for free, or rather, the utilities pay for it, because a) it means you're more likely to remain their customer and b) it costs them less in customer service because the concierge does the transfer electronically.

Also, the concierge people are supposed to be well-versed in the latest deals being offered by each service provider, and the relative tradeoffs between competitors such as Dish vs DirecTV, or cable vs satellite.

I haven't tried it myself (just learned about it in a home-buying seminar), but it sounds like a good idea to me.

freedumb said...

Dave, Interesting. I'll have to keep that in mind when I get closer to buying a home. I've never heard of that before, but heck if it's free I'm all for it. The hassle of switching everything over is such a pain. Thx, FF