Sue Revis' Blog
When you move into a home that you worked so hard to buy, it’s an exciting and overwhelming time. The biggest problem with a new place is that you don’t know your surroundings very well. Even if you have just moved down the street, there’s a lot of new things to be discovered from new neighbors to new places to explore.
One thing that many new homeowners overlook is the way in which their new home functions. Do you know where the circuit breakers are? What about that switch in the corner of the living room that doesn’t seem to do anything? While the seller's disclosure and your home inspector will give you a wealth of information, you can gain a lot of knowledge just by asking questions.
Sellers may not be eager to answer too many questions at first for fear that their answers could jeopardize the sale of their home. You can safely ask a lot of questions at the final walk-through or at closing since the seller will know that they’re secure in the transaction.
What’s Strange About This House?
While you wouldn’t word a question to a seller in this exact way, you do want to know if there’s anything unique or anything that you should anticipate about the home. Remember that you should be subtle, yet curious in your question asking.
What Type Of Repairs Have Been Made?
While you expect that most repairs will be on the disclosure statement, anything that has been done in the past is noteworthy as well. It’s helpful to know what’s been done in the house in the past so you have an idea of what to keep an eye out for.
Where Are The Important Utility Boxes In The Home?
Not all home inspectors are created equal. Your inspector may not be great at educating you as to where things are in the home like the circuit box, the water switches, the pump, or the controls for the furnace. The seller can often show you the location of these items in the house. This will prevent you from a lot of confusion starting at the time you move into the home.
Have You Enjoyed Living In This Neighborhood?
You can discover a lot about a neighborhood if you just start a conversation about the seller’s own experiences. You can learn a lot through this simple question. Are there any crazy dogs in the neighborhood? Where are the best places to eat in the area? While you may not ask these questions directly, you can gain some powerful information just by being curious and conversational.
Gaining a good rapport with your seller can get you places. You’ll know a bit more about the home and the seller will even feel more friendly towards you. The seller could even leave some cool stuff behind that they don’t need like a microwave, a piece of furniture, or a patio set. All you need to do is be friendly and curious and you’ll be off to a great start in your new home.
4 Independence Rd, Acton, MA 01720
291 Musterfield Rd, Concord, MA 01742
One of the things that people may not think about when buying a house is waterproofing the crawlspace or basement. However, this is one of the biggest home maintenance items to address. You may not think of it because waterproofing is usually done when the house is built. However, it is important to note that the materials used to waterproof a house do wear out after several years, and they could be costly to update.
Checking for Waterproofing
If a basement or crawlspace is not properly waterproofed, the home will likely have a lot of humidity, which then leads to mold and mildew. Check basements and crawlspaces for dampness. If you are buying a house, look at it more than one time — the first time, when it’s nice out so that you can take your time. The second viewing, if possible, check the house after a hard rain so you can see where water puddles and if water seeps into the basement or crawlspace.
Ways to Waterproof Your House
You will need to hire a professional to waterproof your home. Depending on the basement, you might have to waterproof it from the inside. Or, you could put a moisture barrier under the floor joists. If a lot of water seeps into the basement or crawlspace, you might have to add drainage. A common way to get rid of excess water is to install a French drain along the basement walls to divert the water away from the walls.
If the house is at the bottom of a slope, you could divert the water before it reaches the house, either partially down the slope, or if the house is far enough away, at the bottom of the slope.
Dealing with Excess Moisture
Inside, you can combat excess moisture by introducing a dehumidifier. Placing one in the basement and one upstairs is helpful especially in more extreme cases. Depending on the size of the unit and the amount of humidity you're trying to remove, you may have to empty the dehumidifier more than once each day. For a more long term solution, adding a moisture barrier under the floor helps keep the excess moisture out your living area.
Keep in mind that once you start to see mold and mildew, it’s probably already inside the walls of the house. Breathing it in is not good for your health — it could cause asthma and other breathing problems.
If you suspect a house has excess moisture problems, you may opt not to purchase that property. However, if you really love the house, be sure to have it professionally inspected to gain a full understanding of the existing issues. Request estimates for curing the moisture problem as well as mold remediation. When you make an offer on the house, you can choose to pay the asking price or work with your real estate agent to negotiate for mold remediation, cleanup and waterproofing.
If you want to help your house stand out to prospective buyers, it may be beneficial to give your residence an exterior makeover. Because if your home boasts outstanding curb appeal, your residence could stir up lots of interest from potential buyers as soon as it becomes available.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you give your residence an exterior makeover.
1. Eliminate Clutter
Lawn gnomes, plastic flamingoes and other home exterior decorations are unlikely to help you sell your residence. In fact, these lawn decorations may prove to be major turn-offs to buyers. However, if you remove home exterior decorations and assorted clutter from outside your home, you could make your residence more attractive than ever before.
Remember, your home only gets one chance to make a positive first impression on a buyer. If you eliminate clutter from outside your house, you can help your house make a great first impression on buyers. And as a result, many buyers could be drawn to your residence when they see it for the first time.
2. Take Care of Your Lawn
Tall grass, weeds and other lawn problems may make it tough for a buyer to fall in love with your house. Fortunately, if you take care of your lawn, you may be able to differentiate your residence from comparable houses in your city or town.
Spend some time mowing the lawn, trimming hedges and removing debris from walkways outside your home. Of course, if you want expert lawn care help, you can always hire a professional landscaping company too.
3. Consider the Buyer's Perspective
How buyers perceive your residence likely will have far-flung effects on your home selling experience. For example, if your home has a pristine lawn and beautiful siding, a buyer may be drawn to your residence. On the other hand, if your home has a messy lawn and damaged siding, a buyer may shy away from your house.
Think about how a buyer may perceive your residence when he or she sees it for the first time. Then, you can prioritize home exterior upgrades and improve your residence's exterior accordingly.
As you prepare to list your residence, you may want to employ a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional will work with you to develop an effective home selling strategy.
Usually, a real estate agent will learn about you and your home selling goals. He or she next will provide recommendations and suggestions so you can upgrade your residence before you list it. Finally, after you list your home, a real estate agent will promote your residence to prospective buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you make an informed decision about this property buying proposal.
For home sellers, it often is beneficial to upgrade a residence's exterior. If you start home exterior improvement projects today, you can take the first steps to enhance your house and maximize your property sale earnings.