Author Topic: Mustachian Personal Home Buying Checklist  (Read 1641 times)

jonesturtle

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Mustachian Personal Home Buying Checklist
« on: May 04, 2016, 06:56:00 PM »
Long time lurker on this board and this may be my first post. Our family is moving this summer and planning to buy a home.

After being inspired by http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/09/04/how-and-how-not-to-buy-a-house/ I decided to create a personal checklist to quickly evaluate properties and reduce likelihood of getting caught up with first impressions during home walk throughs. I didn't see anything in the forums, but please feel free to point it out.

Here is what I have so far. We don't want to buy more than we need and keep monthly expenses as low as possible, but we aren't looking into tiny home living or anything. I'd appreciate helpful mustachian ideas for this list.

Location:
-Walkability/Bikeability
-location and access of Work, Grocery store, School, Library, Park, Restaurants, YMCA, other hobbies
-public transportation availability (Travelling Biologist)

Rent vs. Buy
-Within established price range
-Cost of Insurance, Real estate taxes, utilities

Move in ready vs. Upgrades needed
-Cost of needed upgrades
-Cost of wanted upgrades
-Potential savings from energy efficiency upgrades

Efficiency
-Orientation with the sun (advantages and disadvantages)
-Window positioning and quality
-Age and quality of furnace, AC, and water heater

Home Features
-Space (right amount, too much, or too little)
-Clean-ability, durability, and required yard maintenance (lilactree and Travelling Biologist)
-Views outside every window (lilactree)
-layout/accessibility/room multi-functionality (lilactree)

Neighborhood/Market
-HOA rules, costs, benefits
-Size and value of home in comparison to neighboring houses
-Quality of schools
-Crime rates
-Sex offender search
-Housing Market inventory and average days on the market

« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 06:57:14 PM by jonesturtle »

FrugalFan

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Re: Mustachian Personal Home Buying Checklist
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2016, 06:15:10 AM »
This is a good idea!

A few things that crossed my mind.

For location - access to public transit.

For amount of space - think about assigning double function to some rooms. E.g., we have a guest bedroom that is lovely to have but only gets used 20% of the year. It would have been good to combine the guest space with our office space, since we are unlikely to be using the office when guests are around anyway.

Also, having efficient storage space is important to me. 

Yard - do you want one? How much maintenance will it be.

Garage - do you want one? Do you prefer attached?

Upgrades - when looking at houses, try to differentiate between easy inexpensive upgrades and more expensive upgrades. For example, fresh paint can do wonders for a space and it relatively inexpensive. Some people have a hard time overlooking bad paint colors but it's really a minor fix.

I also have a personal preference for tile and wood floors so carpeted areas would have to be replaced and I would take that cost into account.

lilactree

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Re: Mustachian Personal Home Buying Checklist
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2016, 09:19:56 AM »
This thread is a great idea and may help me, too.

Maybe some things having to do with ease of cleaning and chores. I'm sure others will have tips on this, too.
- With a baby, I've been thinking that when we move I'd like a place with a more accessible laundry area rather than two flights down to a dark dank basement.
- If you want a dishwasher, is there one or a place for one? If no dishwasher, I prefer not to face a wall while doing dishes at the kitchen sink (as in a previous apartment we had); I'd rather be able to look out a window or over a counter at the room.   
- Probably type of flooring makes a difference, and things like light fixtures that are hard to dust.
I saw something here about carpet tiles, where you could remove the square that got dirty and wash it in your kitchen sink:
http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/4192089/list/15-ways-to-design-an-easy-clean-home

Location: is there a high level of pollution or environmental contaminants; also noise and light pollution.

Christiana

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Re: Mustachian Personal Home Buying Checklist
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2016, 06:27:14 PM »
character of the neighborhood
trajectory of the neighborhood
characters of the nearest neighbors
neighborhood barky dog population
distance to fire station, railroad, airport flight path, chemical plants, city incinerator
local traffic choke points, and at what times
water quality and taste
odors and air pollution from nearby industry
chemicals offgassing from products used in the house (paint, new carpet)
potential for flooding, sinkholes, earthquakes, industrial accidents, someone driving straight into the living room
sturdiness and security
evacuation routes
parking availability and rules
distance to park, and quality of park
zoning and zoning priorities
character and quality of city governance
neighborhood organizations
upcoming nearby road construction projects
upcoming high-density developments
upcoming retail development
past and upcoming special assessments
history of the house, former businesses on site, remodeling done, what permits were pulled (or not)
flow of interior layout, and how you get in and out of the house with your family and stuff
species, positions, and health of the trees on site
potential for aging in place
typical problem points of the house style (aluminum wiring, poor insulation, impossibly outdated kitchen layout)
potential resale value after you've lived there like you intend to
the pool of buyers that you are competing against
the pool of sellers that are competing for you
how the rent vs buy comparison works out for you

jonesturtle

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Re: Mustachian Personal Home Buying Checklist
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2016, 06:51:17 PM »
Thanks for additional great ideas

Travelling Biologist and lilactree; I'll add clean-ability, window views, yard maintenance, layout/accessibility/room multi-functionality, and public transportation.

character of the neighborhood
trajectory of the neighborhood
characters of the nearest neighbors
neighborhood barky dog population
distance to fire station, railroad, airport flight path, chemical plants, city incinerator
local traffic choke points, and at what times
water quality and taste
odors and air pollution from nearby industry
chemicals offgassing from products used in the house (paint, new carpet)
potential for flooding, sinkholes, earthquakes, industrial accidents, someone driving straight into the living room
sturdiness and security
evacuation routes
parking availability and rules
distance to park, and quality of park
zoning and zoning priorities
character and quality of city governance
neighborhood organizations
upcoming nearby road construction projects
upcoming high-density developments
upcoming retail development
past and upcoming special assessments
history of the house, former businesses on site, remodeling done, what permits were pulled (or not)
flow of interior layout, and how you get in and out of the house with your family and stuff
species, positions, and health of the trees on site
potential for aging in place
typical problem points of the house style (aluminum wiring, poor insulation, impossibly outdated kitchen layout)
potential resale value after you've lived there like you intend to
the pool of buyers that you are competing against
the pool of sellers that are competing for you
how the rent vs buy comparison works out for you

Christiana - sounds like you know lots of real estate technicalities. If you know the best places to research some of these topics, would you mind reorganizing some of your list by best research sources?

misshershey

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Re: Mustachian Personal Home Buying Checklist
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2016, 08:21:15 PM »
My only serious deal-breaker for a home is it's location relative to a church. I lived across the street from a church when I was a kid--never again. I don't think I've ever seen a church (smaller than a MegaChurch) that has enough parking for it's parishioners (congregation of 200, 10 parking spaces), so the overflow parking is on-street. Between not being able to park in front of your own house, your driveway being blocked, and the traffic before and after services... urgh.

Never. Again.