When you imagine the first few weeks in your new house, doubtless you have visions of a carefree, peaceful time. The lovely first-meal with mismatched plates because you haven't finished unpacking, the first night sleeping on a mattress on the floor, the first time driving to your new home from work without getting lost...
A new house is a new beginning, or at least, it should be.
Unfortunately, there are often hidden caveats in contracts that can lead to nasty surprises for new homeowners. Unexpected fees, previous owners taking the fridge with them, violent gang wars going on in your new back yard, the list goes on.
Fortunately, there are a few things you as a buyer can do to avoid these unpleasant little surprises.
1. Lucky for you, this is the Google generation, and if you can't find it online, it doesn't exist. Search the web to find out everything you can about the neighborhood before you buy.
-Check out the local Chamber of Commerce
-Skim the local news for a week or so
-Ask a local realtor (like us!) about things that are important to you: crime, schools, parks, parking, jobs, eateries, libraries and shopping
2. When it's time to go and physically look at the house, pick up a home inspector's check list and use it for your own personal inspection.
3. Don't just tour the home; tour the neighborhood. Walk around the block a few times, talk to people. Find out anything you can about recent events, noisy neighbors, crime in the area.
4. Most importantly, have a lawyer read over the contract before you sign it.