MAKE A LIST; CHECK IT TWICE
You may have an impression of what you want in your new home. Putting that to paper and having a complete checklist can prove useful. Before starting your hunt for a new home, it’s advisable to make a list of all your basic needs and desires, then prioritize the desires, figuring that all needs must be met in any house under consideration. This will make the search easier and help weed out the ones that don’t meet the basics. Realize, however, that it’s nearly impossible to find a home that meets all requirements. Compromises
will be necessary. It’s a good idea to work from outside-the-house factors to inside-the- house. For example, location is perhaps the primary concern and both “needs” factors and “desires” factors might be involved. A “need” would be “must be within 25 miles of work.” A desire might be, “would like Westwood” (a favored neighborhood), while a need might be “on west side of city” (because work, family, friends, and recreation activities are all located there). Location needs may include proximity to schools, frequently used recreation facilities, or mode of transportation (bus or suburban rail access). Whether an item is a need or a desire depends on circumstance. Closeness to family might be a need for a couple with young children or elderly parents to care for or a desire if those factors aren’t involved. It’s items like these that make a checklist most helpful. After location needs and desires are compiled, housing factors can be considered. Needs include having all essential house structures and systems in good working order. Accepting a house with need for a new roof because the owner is willing to knock $7,000 off the listing price — but it will cost $10,000 to replace the roof in two years — is not a sensible deal.
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