Avoid These Mistakes When Buying a Home

Avoid these mistakes when buying a home; if made, they they will be problems down the road. Every buyer will become a seller – and likely much sooner than expected. The idea of buying and living in one home for 20 years left with the “gold watch – one career job”. This is a “gig economy” and in a sense, the real estate market must be similarly considered. When it’s time to sell that home being considered, how will it look to the next buyer? Here are a few seemingly obvious mistakes to avoid when buying a home.

Why are there double yellow lines and speed bumps? The first thought about double yellow lines is traffic and speed, next is parking. Can you legally park on the road, is it safe? Where do visitors and guests safely park?

Speed bumps – calming strips – whatever they are called are intended to slow traffic. Is this a cut through street? Drag strip? Not good for a residential setting.

Train tracks are going to be a source of several adverse conditions. Not only the noise, but visual impact, vibration and dirt from the trains.

Safety issues will of course be present and some traffic may be early in the morning and late at night. The impact is lessened with distance and obstructions but train noise has a far reach. Always check a mapping site for an idea of proximity.

Power lines come in many different sizes and uses, the general public cares less. There is little doubt that they are an adverse influence to just about every buyer.

“Just about” because there is always someone willing to trade their adverse influence for price, homes do sell by and under them but for a discount. Power lines tend to be noisy, often create static or a buzz and the rights of way around them have to be maintained.

Sewage treatment plants and landfills are most appreciated down wind. There are times when the down wind areas of active locations carry a stench for miles. Mix in rain, humidity, heat and just let your mind wander.

Add to this the noise from heavy trucks, the beeping of back up alarms, equipment at the site and traffic in general around them. Don’t forget runoff and the creatures like crows and rats that love to hit the buffet. Again check the maps to see what’s in the area.

Highways and road noise should be a no brainer. Depending on proximity, there will be a steady drone of traffic mixed in the occasional sirens, horns and cars and trucks without mufflers. Many areas are putting up sound and visual barriers, while that might help, few buyers consider a wall of steel or concrete much better than a highway.

Homes on steep hills and below grade present challenges. Most homes will have some grade, in fact a slight upward position is beneficial for drainage. Steep is a different story; consider parking on an incline, just getting in an out can be a challenge – magnified in winter.

Homes below grade typical have drainage concerns, the water is going somewhere and that might be the garage, basement or home. Homes on these types of lots often have marginal yards as well.

Last but certainly not least, airports. This couldn’t be more obvious; noise, activity, even dirt from the jets is found along the flight paths. A picture from above catches both the airport and power line issue.

These issues are likely to have an adverse impact on value and marketability of a home. This is far from a complete list; consider commercial uses, apartments, detention ponds, cemeteries and more. It’s possible – likely – that the agents will dismiss them, they aren’t buying or living in the house. It’s also possible that some of the things above are seen in and common in an area. In an urban area, commuter trains and roads are “background” noise; the key is understanding what is typical for the area. Many multi million dollar homes in CA are on cliffs and hills; this is common and not considered adverse.

Buying a home is likely the biggest financial commitment people make, see how we instill confidence to make it.

Questions? Maybe we should talk.

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