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What Buyers Should (But Don’t) Look for in a Home

By Mike Wheatley | May 8, 2012
  • Home buyers are often a pretty predictable bunch really. Nine times out of ten, buyers are concerned with the home’s location, its appearance, and cost, in no particular order. But there are many factors that need considering other than these three – especially if the buyer intends to remain happy in their new home for years to come.

    Things to look for in a home
    What to look for in a home? © pixel_dreams - Fotolia.com

    This might come as a surprise, but there are several crucial aspects of home ownership that the majority of buyers simply don’t pay any attention to. Maybe this is for the best – they do say ignorance is bliss, after all – but according to a recent story in US News & World Report, many buyers would do well to scrutinize the following factors before deciding to move in.

    Zoning Regulations and Community Improvements

    Just because a community looks pleasant now, doesn’t mean it will in five years time. In just a few years, neighborhoods have the potential to change drastically under the weight of new developments. Some of these changes might be a good thing – new schools, hospitals and parks for example. However, they could also be a very bad thing, such as a new interstate highway ploughing straight through that lush green valley lying just beyond your new home.

    Buyers should take time to review zoning regulations and any up-and-coming development plans at the local Urban Development Department to see what the future holds for their prospective new community.

    Crime Rate Impact

    It’s always nice to move into an area with a low crime rate from a personal safety perspective, but buyers should also consider the impact on expenses. The US News & World Report points out that living in high crime rate areas will lead to ballooning costs on things such as auto insurance and home insurance, among others.

    Restrictions on Home Remodeling

    Many properties, especially those in community associations, are burdened by restrictions on what the homeowner can and cannot do to them. One of the biggest no-no’s that many community associations like to impose is major exterior changes – for example, building a new garage or extension to the home is often not permitted.

    Therefore, buyers searching for a home that can grow with their family will need to ensure the property they choose is not governed by any building restrictions.

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