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Comparison List

Once you begin serious house hunting, your RealtorĀ® may show you several properties in a single day. It isn't uncommon for buyers to confuse the inside of one property with the outside of another.

Although your RealtorĀ® will provide you with basic information about each property (price, number of bedrooms, room sizes, type of heating, age of property, etc.), it's a good idea to take notes of your own. Try to compare the same features of each property, so you will be in better position to analyze your choices objectively.

The following suggestions may help you design a checklist of your own:

Exterior

Is the lot nicely landscaped?
How old is the roof? Are there any indications that it will need to be repaired or replaced within the next few years? Signs of this include shingles that are curling or lifting at the ends. Shingles that have moss growth will need to be stripped off before new shingles can be installed.
Are the gutters strong and secure?
Is there central air conditioning?
Is the driveway concrete, asphalt, or gravel? Is it in good condition or does it have dips, ruts, and cracks?
Are the windows painted shut . . .well caulked . . . cracked?
Are the storm windows wood or aluminum?


Basement

Is the foundation solid? Are there cracks, peeling paint, concave walls or other visible signs of weakness?
Are there signs of dampness such as water stains, musty smells, or mold growth?
Does the electrical system provide 60-, 100-, or 200-amp service? Will it be sufficient for your needs? If electrical wires are visible, are they frayed or has the insulation coating cracked leaving bare wires exposed?
Is the plumbing galvanized, copper, or plastic? If plumbing is galvanized, is the pressure adequate at each faucet throughout the home?
Does flushing the toilet significantly diminish pressure at the faucets? Is the water clear or rusty? If the basement is finished, will you have easy access to shut-off valves?
How old is the furnace? What was the date of the last professional service check and what was done? What is the fuel source? Gas? Electric?
How old is the hot water tank and what is its capacity?
Is there a finished recreation room?
Is any part of the basement carpeted or tiled?
In what condition are the walls, windows, floors, subfloors, and ceilings?
Is there adequate storage space?
Is there ample room for laundry appliances?
Are there any other special features? (workshop area, full bath, 1/2 bath, wet bar, etc.)


For All Living Areas

Is the drywall or plaster on the walls and ceilings in good structural condition? Is it smooth? Are there any large cracks?
Is there an electrical outlet on each wall?
Is the room spacious enough to hold your furniture?
Is it nicely decorated? If not, are you willing to redecorate?
Do the draperies and rods remain with the property? If so, what are their condition and color?
What color is the carpeting? Is it in good condition?
Are the floors level or are there dips and bumps?
Is the fireplace in good working order?
Are there any other features that enhance its appearance (i.e. natural woodwork, bay window, beveled glass windows, french doors, built-in bookcases, etc.)?


Kitchen

Do the appliances remain with the property?
Are the appliances in good condition?
What is the condition of the cabinets, sink, countertops?
Is the water pressure adequate?
Is there a dishwasher and garbage disposal unit?
Is there an area for eating?


For Each Bathroom

Are there signs of water leakage under the sink or around the toilet and tub (rotting wood, dampness, water stains, unevenness in the floor)?
Are there tiles around the tub and shower? Plastic or ceramic?
Is water pressure adequate if you flush the toilet and run the tap water at the same time?


For Each Bedroom

Is there adequate closet space?
Is there a dressing area?


Third Story/Attic

What kind of access do you have to the attic?
Is it a finished attic? If not, is there enough usable space to accommodate an extra room someday?
Is it adequately heated?
Are the floors and ceilings insulated? Are there vents?
Do the rafters show any signs of water damage such as rotting wood or warping?


 

Introduction

Selecting a Realtor

Previewing the contract

Finding the Right Home

Comparison List

Making the offer

Types of Mortgage Loans

The Mortgage Loan

Closing the Sale

Home buying Resources

 

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