Viewing Properties as a Single Woman
Women are no longer waiting for Mr. Right before they consider buying a home or condo as many single women value their single independence and have careers that pay top dollar. Real estate is a good investment right now and interest rates are still a good bargain.
Women actually make up as much as 20 % of prospective new home buyers today, but if you don’t know much about real estate investment than you might be wondering about what approach you should take when you first start viewing prospective properties.
Here are a few tips about what you should keep in mind when viewing a prospective property once you’ve got your mortgage pre-approved and your finances set up for the buy.
Get a Good Realtor
Male or female buyers are best advised not to view a home by themselves. You can save a lot of valuable time by using an experienced realtor who knows the market especially in the neighbourhoods where you want to buy.
A good realtor will take the time to understand your needs, the neighbourhood and the price range. They can explain all the main features and advantages about the home and disclose any negative qualities that are readily visible.
Don’t just pick any realtor out of the yellow pages, do some research and prepare some questions to ask them before you ask them to represent you.
What’s Your First Impression?
This is called curb appeal. It’s your first impression of the home or condo. What you want to get from your first view of the outside is get an idea of how well the home has been maintained.
Make sure you take some time and give the outside as much of a going over as you do with the inside. If the paint is peeling, and the caulking around the windows is missing or the rain gutter is sagging then you might want to consider these negative first impressions as a possible red flag.
And always ask about the age and state of the roof.
Key Things to Look For When Viewing a Home
Even though you plan to hire a home inspector to give the house a thorough going over, there are a few things to look for when you are viewing the inside of the house. These are issues that stand out and you should not be shy about asking questions if you see something that troubles you or gives you concern.
Take note of any musty smell, areas of discolouration, cracks on the basement floors and walls. Basement walls which have cracks or bulging might suggest foundation problems. Look for any signs of mildew, or seepage around basement windows.
Also, check and ask about the age of the furnace and water heater and visually observe them as best you can. Rusty pipes, smells or excessive noises can suggest potential problems.
Interior of the House
Eyeball every room from the ceiling to the floor. You can observe whether there are any signs of leaks or stains, or feel for draughts around the windows. Check out the state of the carpet/wood floors and also whether the walls need painting or note if the drywall or plastering is cracked or dinged.
In the kitchen and bathroom you want to note the state and age of the fixtures, faucets, plumbing and overall quality. Look for dated plumbing such as faucets and the state of the sinks, and look for stains or mildew on the floors.
If there is an attic and it’s accessible than take the time and take a look as that can give you an idea of the insulation quality and whether there are signs of leaks.
Consider security issues as you go through the home. Ask about crime in the area as some neighbourhoods are safer than others. Will you have to change doors, add new deadbolts, window locks or even have to get a security system?
And, most importantly, take the time to find yourself an experienced and well established home inspector.