House Hunting

Ponzi and I have hit the housing market three times over the past couple of years, but it’s just now starting to favor buyers (“us”) over sellers (“them”). We’ve been working with Stan – who is quickly becoming the blogger’s choice for real estate agents in the Seattle area. Last night, I scribbled a list of personal home search guidelines:

Newer is Better – Classic charm is classy, so long as you don’t mind performing random updates throughout the years. “Home repairâ€Â? is a given for any building, but I think the various problems we’ve experienced in our current rental house has made us a bit gunshy in wanting to buy a structure that’s more than five years old.

I’ve shared nine other house hunt honing points inside the “new” Lockergnome Nexus (expect a separate post on that effort soon, as we’re looking for countless WordPress knowledgeers). Finding a house is… stressful.

9 thoughts on “House Hunting”

  1. Pingback: SocioBiblog
  2. Never buy on a busy street.
    Look for low traffic neighborhoods or streets.
    Check out the schools. Even if you don’t have kids, they will affect the value.
    Make sure you can get broadband.
    Drive your commute several times before you buy. During your commute hours.

  3. Welcome to the world (almost) of home ownership, it’s just begining Chris, wait untill you get hit with the Mortgage and the Property taxes etc,etc.
    Oh yeah, that pipe that leads to the city sewer system is on your property,and it’s going to cost you six grand to replace it, blah blah blah.

    The pride of home ownership.

  4. Being new isn’t a guarantee you won’t have repair headaches. Don’t pass up older homes just because they’ve got age on them. That said, there are good reasons to buy a newer home, but not to dodge maintenance.

    1. Are the windows double or even tripled glazed?
    2. What type of insulation is in the roof? Walls?
    3. If you’re truly buying in the Seattle area (Hmmmm?!?) then what sort of light does the house get? Does it have good southern exposure?

  5. Chris,
    Thanks for the plug…

    Robert…Great points, a few others. Power lines not real popular, buried fuel oil tanks as well. If it’s remote is it on a well or septic? If so, how do you test both to make sure that they are functioning as they should? What is the siding? Is it problematic? Roofing?? & many others that can come up.

    Joel…Yeah Cash back sounds good but are you as a buyer going to have expert assistance with the above mentioned issues? especially when the Redfin model does not even have a realtor come out and view the property with you? Even if they did, what is the experience level? Do they have recommendations of a good home inspector? I’m not talking about a list of inspectors but actually having experience to determine who and quality home inspector is and why. Secondly, what’s a few dollars back at closing, when if the property is a great one, and there may be much competition for it, you can’t be ‘the chosen one’ because you don’t have an experienced advocate working in your behalf that can do their darndest to try to get you this property. This may sound silly, but believe me this scenario happens all the time. 3 of the past 4 weekends I have been involved in just such a scene. Fortunately, in all cases we came out the winners, but it is not an easy task and requires a whole lot more skill and experience than just sitting at a computer screen and typing an offer on a ‘unseen’ property.

    Andrew, good call on the conduit.

  6. We just started our first home buying search too, and it’s incredibly overwhelming. We have about 5 months to complete our search before our building goes into full reno, so that’s just an added stress.

    At least Vancouver, like Seattle, is having a mini swing towards a buyers market as well 🙂

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