When purchasing real estate there are a few things to keep in mind. Of course it is always a good idea to know your price range in advance, and that is usually determined by the down payment you will be able to come up with, the interest rate you will be paying and the monthly payment that will result from all of that. Park Colonial will be a major part of your budget, so planning in advance for this item is a must.
If you have made an offer on the house, and if it is accepted, be sure to include in the agreement somewhere that the current owner must have a home inspection done, and that the cost will be borne by the current homeowner. First of all, if they balk, it is an indication that there is possibly something that is wrong with the house. It also may be that they are afraid that there might be, and that the cost may be prohibitive. If there is a problem, a deal can always be made to pay for the repairs out of escrow, or by a reduction of the price. Keep in mind that everything can be negotiated, but you don’t want to buy a house that has a serious construction problem.
Hire an attorney. Realtors may sometimes feel that this is overkill, but there may be zoning issues that only an attorney would find, or contractual situations that may not be in your favor at all. An attorney that is familiar with the area in general can pay dividends beyond any scope of any of the parties that are party to the transaction. The attorney will be representing you solely, while there is no legal requirement for any of the realtors involved to represent anyone.
Take a thorough walkthrough yourself, before the closing date. Look for problems in the exterior and the interior of the house. Look for wet spots on ceilings, mold in the basement and attic, and bulges in ceilings and walls, indicating water that might have leaked in those places. Take a drive around the neighborhood and see what the other side of the block looks like. Is there a manufacturing plant or a railroad yard over there that you didn’t notice?
What is the neighborhood like? Are the majority of the homes well kept, lawns and bushes kept trimed, or is your house to be the only one. Where is the house located in relation to the general slope of the land? Are all of the homes all on equal elevations, or is your house at the bottom of a flood plain? Take a three to four block tour in that kind of radius and try to get the overall feel of things. Perhaps your immediate neighborhood is really great, it is well kept and nice, but two blocks away every house is a dump.
These decisions are sometimes overlooked when people purchase homes, but if they are overlooked they can be devastating should they occur.