Don’t Just Inspect the Home – Inspect the Area
Ok so you found the perfect house and next comes the inspection. Whether it’s before or after you are in contract, it’s important to look at the bones of the house itself. Here, I invite you to take it a step further and look at the enviromnent surrounding the home.
When you are buying a home, you are also buying that home’s location. In fact, location is one of the cornerstones of your desired property’s value along with size, finishes, and features. Depending on the home being purchased, size, finishes, and features can be altered to meet the needs of the new owner. However, it is rare that location can be one of those items altered. Therefore, reviewing your potential property’s location is key. But don’t just assume that curb appeal and attractiveness of the area should be the only items reviewed! Make sure you take the following into consideration:
Noise - Noise from nearby airports, trains, traffic thoroughfares, manufacturing, and more can all affect a home’s value – and one’s quality of life if outdoor living is desired. If noise is very intrusive, such as trains sounding horns in the middle of the night, a segment of the buyer pool may likely find that unbearable.
Smells – Smells from manufacturing, agriculture, algae in shallow water, and more can affect some people more than others. Remember, some smells can get worse in different times of year so learn all you can.
People and Traffic – If there is a nearby school or playfield, an office building, or even a restaurant, make sure you come back when folks are around to see just how much traffic and people are in the area. Furthermore if parking is already a challenge, coming back at other times when more people are there will give you an idea of what you are up against.
Nightlife – Does that lovely bistro down the street become a rocking nightclub after hours? Do the new neighbors rev their motorcycles and race up and down the street? Does the neighbor have a dog sitting business with clientele known to howl at all hours? An area can really change at night!
Seasonal Changes – If the home you are viewing during the summer is next to a business and is buffered by a row of lovely dogwood trees, what happens in the winter when the trees shed their leaves? What if you have a great view which is owed to a great vantage point on a hill and during the winter the whole neighborhood skates down the hill on a sheet of ice? Keep seasonal changes in mind when home shopping.
The Future – Although the future is difficult to predict, learning what you can about your area’s future developments can go a long way to making sure your home’s value is protected long-term.
Do your due diligence when reviewing a property. I recommend visiting in the morning, afternoon, and evening as well as during the week and on a weekend. In our area, a 3-day neighborhood review period is standard, although you can always try to negotiate a longer period if you need one.