The Driveway: The Often Overlooked Consideration of The Home Purchase!

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

The Driveway:  The Often Overlooked Consideration of The Home DrivewayPurchase!

You've found THE ONEThe DREAM HOUSE you've been wanting!  But when you got to the house, did you pay ANY attention to the driveway?  We think it's safe to say most people don't.  The home draws your eye and your focus, all your attention is drawn there, BUT you need to think about that driveway if you want to avoid headaches later.

What's the driveway made of?  Concrete? Asphalt? Pavers?  Stamped concrete?  Gravel or dirt?  Each of these come with required maintenance, so factor that in to your annual cost of living.

SnowblowerHow long is that driveway?  Any big dips or hills?  Doesn't matter much when the weather is beautiful, but after Mother Nature drops a half foot of the White Death on it, it WILL matter then!  Do you have a tractor or snow blower, or is it just you, a shovel and one VERY sore back??!!!  And seriously, have you ever tried to hire someone to come plow your driveway after a blizzard if you're not one of their regular customers??  Fuhgetaboutit!!  And don't even ask about the price for that 5 or 10 minutes of work!

Is your driveway shared?  Who owns it?  Is it on your property, theirs or both?  Who's responsible for upkeep?  Is cost split, if so what amount and how often?  Is the maintenance agreement recorded with the county to make it official?  That "gentleman's agreement" might be fine until one of you moves away or someone has some financial difficulty, but a formally recorded agreement listing these details protects both of you.

Any culverts or water running under your driveway?  Steep grades on the sides?  More things to think about.  You don't need erosion starting to claim your driveway or the first torrential rain trapping you in your home because you've got a temporary river running over the top!

So just a few things to add to your consideration BEFORE you write up that purchase offer on your Dream Home.  We'd like you to dream peacefully in your new home WITHOUT nightmares!

Serving Warren County's residential real estate needs,
Liz and Bill aka BLiz 

 

P.S.  Need help finding that Dream Home?  Call us, we'll help you buy a Warren County home just right for you!

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

 

The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418

MailTo:  Liz@LizSpear.com

Search Homes:  Https://WarrenCountyOhioRealEstate.com

Our Website:  www.LizTour.com

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Ambassador
2,709,130
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Steve, Ours is blacktop too, so if it's straight snow, no issues, but throw in an ice sheet under and all bets are off!  The remaining snow melted off the driveway today, so all clear until the next snow :)

Karen & Frank, We've got some cracks in our blacktop from tree roots, and that's a common problem around the woods like we are.

Jan 25, 2011 09:56 AM #21
Rainmaker
289,867
Ellie Penaranda
239.776.5077 Downing-Frye Realty - Naples, FL
Naples Florida Real Estate - Waterfront & Beach Co

Bliz, I"ll take a long driveway anytime.  When it comes to single family homes, I like my privacy.

Jan 25, 2011 10:40 AM #22
Ambassador
2,709,130
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Ellie, Same here!  We're almost 20 years in the same home.  Surrounded by woods, convenient to the interstate, not a bad place to be at all :)

Jan 25, 2011 10:44 AM #23
Rainmaker
3,209,384
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Bill & Liz, what a valuable point your post makes, I feel the your  pain especially this winter.BTW is that your driveway?:))

Jan 25, 2011 11:16 AM #24
Rainer
345,824
Jennifer Prestwich
Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster - Henderson, CO
Madison & Co Properties

BLiz- you are so smart.  I know a LOT of people don't even think about this.  When I lived in Illinois, we had a driveway that was 1/2 mile long (no exaggeration).  You can bet one of the first things we did was hire someone to plow every time it snowed!  

Also, i just reconnected with a dear childhood friend and she was telling me about where they bought their home.  Seems they have a shared driveway and didn't even think about it when they purchased.  You can bet they are thinking about it now.... Thankfully it hasn't become an issue.  Yet.  ;)

Jan 25, 2011 12:22 PM #25
Rainmaker
301,963
Dan and Amy Schuman
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Solon, OH
Luxury Home Specialists

Very original topic as I don't ever remember reading a post on driveways here before. You pointed out a lot of important things people should know, and buyers in Warren County will be well served with you two on their side. Thanks for the post.

Jan 25, 2011 01:07 PM #26
Ambassador
2,709,130
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Endre, Definitely our driveway!  And that's our snow blower!  Used it for the first time last week, surprised at how quickly the snow could be removed!

Jennifer, That was one SERIOUSLY long driveway!  Ours is little league in comparison!   It's not uncommon for us to deal with flag lots and shared driveways, so our experiences representing our clients are reflected in the post.

Dan and Amy, Always looking for a new wrinkle that might be helpful for the public and our peers.  Thanks for the endorsement!

Jan 25, 2011 01:22 PM #27
Rainer
92,374
Ellen Wright Adams
Academy Mortgage.......We are a Equal Housing Lender - Eugene, OR
LoansByEllen- Licensed in Oregon
Bliz: You've brought up a long forgotten and/or ignored issue; it SHOULD be considered. Great post!
Jan 25, 2011 01:55 PM #28
Rainmaker
570,170
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA

Ah, shared driveways!  That is something I am always on the the lookout for.  For me it's a red flag to find out the legal implications - is it a recorded easement or agreement? where is the property line? who plows it?  Excellent reminder!

Jan 25, 2011 02:02 PM #29
Ambassador
2,709,130
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Ellen, Thanks!  It is often overlooked, and perhaps minor in the grand scheme, but still deserving of attention.

Christine, It's the legal and practical implications that concern us with the shared driveways.  Everything may be peaceable so far, but have the potential to get sticky later, so best to have a written and recorded understanding in place.

Jan 25, 2011 03:12 PM #30
Rainmaker
2,346,102
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Great points..........I wonder how many buyers never take this into consideration when they are looking for the "perfect" home.

Jan 25, 2011 10:03 PM #31
Ambassador
2,709,130
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Roger, We've rarely had a buyer mention it or think about it.  We've learned what to look for, i.e. the shared driveways and maintenance agreements.  Just another perk to hiring us :)

Jan 25, 2011 10:36 PM #32
Rainmaker
1,948,987
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Is hard to know, like the roof condition when it is snow covered. Good points.

Jan 26, 2011 12:30 AM #33
Ambassador
2,709,130
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Andy, Certainly this time of year it can be a challenge to know about driveways or roofs :)

Jan 26, 2011 12:59 AM #34
Rainmaker
985,918
Will Nesbitt
Nesbitt Realty at Condo Alexandria - Alexandria, VA
Nesbitt Realty is a family-run brokerage.

Driveways aren't always pondered on but thanks for bringing up the subject  about it. It is also important and should be be added to our list of "REMINDERS"

Jan 26, 2011 04:16 AM #35
Ambassador
2,709,130
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Will, Just one of the many factors an agent has to keep in mind for their client!

Jan 26, 2011 05:09 AM #36
Ambassador
524,184
Cindy Marchant
Keller Williams Indy NE 317-290-7775 www.marchantteam.com - Carmel, IN
"Cindy in Indy" , Realtor, Fishers Real Estate

Bill...notice there is no BLIZ here...you wrote that post just for me didn't you..so you could now SHOW me that snow blower...lol

If I have to put my emergency brake on...I tell my buyers that will be a resale issue (steepness).  I always have my buyers pull their cars into the garage and back them out to be sure the cars fit and the in/out isn't a surprise.

Cindy in Indy

Jan 26, 2011 05:12 AM #37
Ambassador
2,709,130
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Cindy,  Oh no...you're on to me! :)  You like my Toro 21" single stage snow blower??  :)  ....Insert Tim Allen grunts.... 

Great points on the emergency brake and garage test!  Hmmm....garages...that could easily be another post!  We've had more than one buyer where the depth of the garage was critical!   Would that big diesel duallie fit?  You start getting past 20' and you start running across homes that can't fit the vehicle!

Bill of BLiz :)  (this time)

 

Jan 26, 2011 05:24 AM #38
Anonymous
Karen Fiddler

Hi....this is something we never think about here in California. I looked at vacation property in Wyoming and quickly learned that I needed to pay attention to this.

Jan 27, 2011 09:15 AM #39
Ambassador
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Karen, I'd imagine other than maybe the occasional resurfacing, not too much maintenance required in California.  Wyoming, I'd expect longer driveways/roads requiring more upkeep?

Jan 27, 2011 12:11 PM #40
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