What to Look for in a Home

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What to Look for in a Home 

What do you look for in a home? Is it the deck that you fell in love with? Maybe the master bathroom has a jetted tub and you just can’t say no. Or maybe the yard is perfect for the garden and barbeque. To be honest, there are always a multitude of reasons to purchase a specific home.  Aside from the features of the home and how much you may or may not like them, what else is significant when thinking of buying a home? Here is a list of ten things that [I think and statistically proven in the past] raise a home from a good investment to a great investment:

<!--[if !supportLists]-->1.      <!--[endif]-->LOCATION!! – Just like with owning a business or placing an advertisement, location is the key. This will be the selling factor if you ever want to put your home back on the market. Keep the factors of neighborhood history and reputation, stores, restaurants and shops nearby, and the schools near you which brings us to the next thing to look for.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->2.    <!--[endif]-->The School District – Even if you don’t have kids or aren’t planning on it, this is incredibly important when thinking of the value of your home. Most people who are looking to purchase a home are also looking to start a family. For the majority of these home buyers school district may be a make it or break it factor and it’s always important to be aware of your home’s value based on its location. If your home re-enters the market and the school district is less than desirable you may have more trouble selling than you did buying.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->3.    <!--[endif]-->How the Home is Positions on the Lot – When purchasing a condo this is way more important than when purchasing a home, however it’s still pertinent. For example, if your house is your mind perfect and then you move in and your living area is in plain view to your neighbor this may become an issue when trying to sell. Or perhaps your yard is shaded over by your neighbor’s home extension or their overgrown oak tree. This is great for hot day barbeques but if you’re a gardener this is not prime.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->4.    <!--[endif]-->Crime – This may seem like a no brainer, but often times it’s overlooked in the home purchase transaction. If there is crime in your neighborhood how severe is it and how often does it occur? Are there vandalisms or thefts? What do the authorities have to say about it? Keep in mind that crime, especially petty crime, exists everywhere and is unavoidable. However if your neighborhood is high in home theft rather than some spray painters you may want to change gears on your home purchase direction.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->5.     <!--[endif]-->What’s Within Walking Distance? – This is always a great thing to investigate. Can you walk to your grocery store? Or are there boutiques and shops that are near to you? Is the neighborhood pet friendly with a dog park nearby? These are all great questions because people put a high value of the walkability of a home. If there is a local mom and pop run grocery store a couple blocks away, this may be much more desirable than the home that has a Safeway that is 3 miles away.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->6.    <!--[endif]-->Character of the Neighborhood – Be sure you visit the neighborhood you are considering buying a home in at several different times a day several times. Check out what kind of activity goes on in the morning, afternoon and evening. Note any traffic patterns, neighborhood routines or things that seem out of the ordinary. Become detail oriented!

<!--[if !supportLists]-->7.     <!--[endif]-->I Know You Want to… But Don’t Buy the Best House on the Block – Ordinarily you would think the exact opposite, buy the best home because the best can only get better? To be honest it’s better to buy a medium home on the block an do some renovations as you’re living there. This way, the value is bound to go up naturally and you can help it along the way. Make a good home better so when it’s time to put the home back on the market there is more to offer the new buyers.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->8.    <!--[endif]-->How Much Work Does it Need? –  You have to understand that any home that has been lived in will need work. Maybe the tiling needs to be regrouted in the bathroom or the countertops are stained or have burn marks. Perhaps the plumbing needs work or the home needs to be rewired. It’s always good to have your own inspector go in and evaluate what needs to be done on the home. If the cost of repairs is almost as much as the home… you might want to reconsider. This is one reason why ‘flips’ have become so popular. Many homes that were built in the baby boomer era are now hitting the market for whatever reason, be it foreclosure or just downsizing from the family life. Many of these homes have been lived in for twenty or thirty plus years and need plenty of work.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->9.    <!--[endif]-->Will Your Home Hold Value? – Get opinions from multiple real estate agents who have been working in the area for a long time. Ask how the value of the neighborhood has fared in the past and what the agent anticipates for it in the future. Ask yourself what kind of market you’re buying into and where it’s headed.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->10.                        <!--[endif]-->Taxes, Dues and Fees – Many buyers overlook the monthly fees that are associated with owning a property. Nearly all properties have taxes so you need to be sure that the amount of property tax and assessments are clear to you from the beginning. If you’re ever in doubt do some research. Go to city hall or look it up online. The more informed you are about the property you’re buying the better.


I hope this list was helpful for both Buying Agents and homebuyers out there, looking for the right home. Buying a home is a long and complicated process so the more you know the better prepared you can be. And be sure to check out the Flipper Chick’s newest certified flip that’s brand new to the market! 3014 Claremont Drive is a great single family home that’s been newly renovated…. And there are more very soon to come!  More details on our website below.

Lynn Tardibuono – Flipper Chick- Real Estate Agent and Co-Owner of Sun Pacific Mortgage and Real Estate.  Serving Sonoma County since 1988.  Her number is (707)523-2099 and you can also visit our redesigned website at http://www.sunpacmortgage.com Also be sure to like us on facebook! Click this link: http://www.facebook.com/sunpacmortgage.                                        DRE license #01014873

Comments (2)

Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA


You lay the information for buyers out very well.  Those are the things that a buyer must consider before they buy.

Jun 22, 2012 05:19 AM
Lynn Tardibuono
Sun Pacific Mortgage and Real Estate - Santa Rosa, CA
Sun Pacific Mortgage and Real Estate

Thanks Eveylyn,  appreciate the compliment.  Definitely hope I can lay things out after doing real estate for over 24 years!  :D

Best, Lynn

Jun 26, 2012 06:12 AM