home-buyer-advise5 Questions Buyers Shouldn’t Overlook

So you’ve found the home you love, you’ve had it inspected, you’ve crossed all items off your home-buyer to-do checklist and you’re ready to go to closing. There is one final detail not to be overlooked to make sure you’ll stay happy in your new home.

Make sure to explore the following…

1. How’s the noise? Check the noise level surrounding the home at various times of day and days of the week, such as the weekday versus the weekend. For example, is the home in a flight path or on an ambulance or fire truck route?

2. Are there any easements or encroachments on the property? An easement will allow others to use a portion of your property for a specific purpose. A land survey will reveal property lines, any easements, or encroachments—such as from a garage or fence—from neighbors either intentionally or unintentionally invading the property line.

3. Is the house up to code? Ensure that the home’s previous owners did not fail to get a permit for any major renovation project. It’ll become the buyer’s responsibility otherwise.

4. What are the school, park, and police districts? School district boundaries can affect the home’s resale value and marketability so they’re important to note (and they can change), even if the buyer doesn’t have school-age children. Also, it’s important to determine which amenities and services are included in your taxes, and which (like trash pick-up) may cost extra.

5. What are the local rules? Even when the buyers move in, they’ll still have to abide by city/township and county rules. Buyers should check with any rules by their homeowner or condo association, if applicable, beforehand, too.  If you’re in the trades and your van has your company name on it, for example, you may not be able to park it in front of the home because it is considered ‘business signage.’

Answers to these questions relate to quality of life. Make sure there are no surprises!


Adapted from: “Don’t overlook these homebuying details,” The Chicago Tribune (June 21, 2013)