Real Estate 101: Your Buyer Checklist

Posted by Eric Miller on Friday, June 24th, 2011 at 2:09pm.

Purchasing a home is a major investment. As such, it is essential to take the steps necessary to ensure you are making a sound investment. By checking on all of the following items, you will be sure to make the best choice for you and your future.

Location, Location, Location

Everyone knows that location is the first rule of real estate, but what things should be taken into
consideration when examining the location of a home? Whether you’re shopping for Bethesda real estate or a home in Los Angeles, working with an agent who’s knowledgeable in your area may be particularly helpful. Here are a few things you should do to ensure the property is located in the right neighborhood to suit your needs:

Visit the community during the day as well as during the night
Consider the age and condition of the home as it compares to others properties in the neighborhood
Determine where the home is located in relation to your workplace, shopping opportunities, medical care, schools and other businesses and organizations that are important to you
Learn about the local zoning laws and any applicable deed restrictions
Check into local property taxes and services compare to other similar neighborhoods
Find out about the types of fire and police services are available

Condition of the Lot

In addition to considering the location of the home, you also need to consider the condition of the lot. Some specific items to consider include:

The condition of the walkway, driveway and steps
The type of drainage in place in the lot
The orientation of the home in relation to potential sunlight, rain and wind
The amount of privacy the home affords
The quality of the landscaping

Condition of the Home

The condition of the lot isn’t the only thing you need to consider when determining whether or not you should purchase a home. In addition, you should consider the condition of the home itself. Some things you should consider include:

Warranty information, permits and other documentation regarding the home
The condition of the foundation, including the potential risk of damage caused by tree roots and other problems
The quality of the doors and windows, including whether or not the windows are screened and the exterior doors can be opened and closed without sticking
The age of the roof and the condition of the shingles
The number of roof layers present (no more than three layers should be present)
The type and condition of the insulation (modern homes should have 6 to 8 inches of insulation in the attic)
Proper bathroom and kitchen ventilation
Insulation around any water pipes located in the attic

Of course, the condition of other things will need to be examined as well. These include the heating and air conditioning units, the electrical wiring, the plumbing, the crawlspace or basement, the appliances and the security system if applicable. By hiring a qualified home inspector, you will be better able to determine the overall condition of the home as you decide whether or not to make a purchase.

About the Author - Kevin Koitz is a Washington DC native and specializes in Washington DC Real Estate.

Eric Miller is an award winning Florida Realtor, salesperson and broker. His website, provides an up-to-date guide to Fort Lauderdale Condos for sale, and the most complete buyer, seller and investor information for the Fort Lauderdale Real Estate Market.

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