However, making an offer without first investigating various aspects of the home can result in disappointment after the family moves in. I have frequently observed prospective buyers of my listings give particular attention to various practical issues or features, and at the same time they overlook other things that might be even more important.
Fixable vs Structural
For example, the apparent shortage of storage space can often be readily solved by a couple of easy interior or exterior modifications. However, a major remodel job to create a wonderful kitchen might be much more costly than imagined.
There are also many quality-of-life kind of issues that a wise buyer might do well to ask, here are some examples.
Is it near a heavily-trafficked street that may be a noise problem?
And, if it is, can the sound be sufficiently mitigated by adding a large fountain or waterfall, or installing outdoor speakers for music? Or installing thicker insulation and thicker double-pane glass windows?
How congested is the street and is parking relatively easy to find?
Where are the primary entries to the driveway(s) if it has a driveway? How much street parking does the house have for guests? Are the streets permit parking only for whatever reason? What is the street cleaning situation and what times of day do they run? Does rush hour cause local streets to get particularly congested?
Is the micro-climate aligned with your general preference?
Do you prefer a warmer or cooler temperature? How is it in summer vs winter? If its in the hills or canyons, are the winds a problem for the house or powerlines?
Are there protections for any views?
Are those limitations that may prevent you from making desired changes? For example, do CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) dictate where you could expand the house if it would be in the line of view from a neighbor’s home?
Is local wildlife hazardous to pets?
How close is it to a wilderness area and is the presence of wildlife an issue for you? For example, do you have small dogs that might be at risk from coyotes nearby, especially at night?
How much if any construction is going on nearby?
Are most of the homes nearby expanded or remodeled already, or is it likely that future construction projects will be done on several of them?
Is the home move-in ready?
Is that home satisfactory as it is, or would it require major changes? Does it need new carpet? New floors? New counters? How much work and money will it require to get it “up to your standard of living?”
Would major changes in that particular location be a wise investment?
Not all neighborhoods or locations of a particular home see the same return on investment (ROI) when it comes to remodeling or additions, when looked at purely economically.
Have you checked out the neighborhood at other times of day?
What does the immediate neighborhood feel like at different times of the day? Are you willing to take a few hours to find that out?
On a scale of 1-10…
On a scale of 1-10, does this home feel like an 8 or better? Or are the compromises too great, and it’s a 6 or lower?
Michael Edlen has sold over $1.5 billion, 1,250 homes, and his team has more than 100 years combined experience in real estate. He and his team have represented hundreds of families in the buying process and provides real estate counseling services to prospective buyers and sellers. More insight and information are available at MichaelEdlen.com. He can be reached at 310.230.7373 or Michael@MichaelEdlen.com