Musings of a Museum Fanatic: 5 Things You Forget When Looking for a New Home

2.06.2015

5 Things You Forget When Looking for a New Home

In our constant looking at new homes there are so many things to consider and sometimes important traits aren't so apparent or just plumb fall through the cracks.


1. HOA Dues
For our housing search we are still considering condos and town homes. We're not quite ready for the responsibility that a single family home will require plus it seems like we can find something much nice in a town home for the same price. You don't want to forget to check those HOA dues!! Sometimes even single family houses have them if they're in a nicer neighborhood that maybe has a clubhouse or something.

HOA dues can really sky rocket that price too. I've seen ones for $90 in a town home that covers barely anything to $1,200 in Chicago that covers everything even your taxes. If you don't take that into account that monthly payment that was manageable could have just become too costly.

2. That there are other options
Kevin went through this when he was first looking. He got so fixated on getting a single family home that he got discouraged and didn't realize there were other options at first, like condos and town homes or even renting. Don't just focus on one thing before taking time to make sure you eliminate other options with research.

3. Think ahead
This is probably my biggest and most important item that you should not forget. Kevin and I are definitely victims of forgetting this. When he was buying our current place, even though we had been together a year already, we didn't really think ahead or even really chat about the possibility. It was very much him purchasing it for Kevin. Well five years later and we're stuck in a small one bedroom condo.

We should had even a casual chat about it being like hey we're getting kinda serious maybe you should get something a little bigger? Or if that was too much even bringing up the resale of one bedrooms in the suburbs.

4. Location
A lot of times we look at the area or town we want to live in but we don't look at other important location factors. One of my big things I'd love to have with our next location is to be able to walk to some places, like the grocery store or some restaurants.

Last week when we found that amazing condo we almost bid on that was one aspect that was a downer for me. Since it was located in a mini neighborhood by more of an industrial/commercial area it wasn't really close to places like the grocery store.

5.  The Smaller Issues
Most people really focus on the big ticket items like the large appliance or the look of the kitchen cabinets but there are other things to take into account too. Maybe six months after Kevin moved into the condo we started noticing these medium sized things that were wrong. Like the cabinets weren't level with the overhang and the trim in some spots of the living room was put in poorly. We began to realize that a lot of the "updates" that were done were done haphazardly and in haste to try and sell the condo.

These smaller and medium sized issues add up almost more quickly than having to replace one large item. Some of these, like the handicap shower that will sometimes overflow if we don't clean the drain, we've learned to live with since this isn't our forever home but some like the awful 70's spindles we've taken care of. With out next place we are definitely looking at these details with an eagle eye so we don't get stuck with having to fix these smaller issues.

When looking for a new home there are just tons of items that you need to take into consideration. Sometimes there are points that are missed that turn out to be extremely important. What are some of your "don't forget" items when looking for a new home?

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