Real Estate Minute: 8 Things to Think About Before Buying a Home

Hi there! As you may know, I am a licensed real estate agent here in North Carolina.  Consequently, the “Real Estate Minute” is a biweekly post here on the Cary Connection; many of you who are relocating here to North Carolina send me questions about the process and about Cary and the surrounding cities and towns.  To that end, I will be posting guides to the real estate market here and offer suggestions, advice, recommendations and more.  So let’s get started.


Most buyers will opt to get a home inspection when purchasing a house.  The inspection is, in my opinion, worth every single penny, as it can reveal the hidden issues that may exist underneath its beautiful, “HGTV”- like appearance.  However, there are other, practical considerations that are easy to overlook.  Nevertheless, here are 8 things one should also consider when buying a house.

Flow  This is something people forget.  I always suggest that you think of your typical day and review whether you can envision your routine in the house. 

Entranceways/Exitways to the home– I have seen some very unique placement of exterior doors- including one that opened up to a bedroom and a bathroom.  The ingress and egress to your house should be well planned and convenient. 

Smell– Seriously, take a big whiff.  Does anything smell funny? If so, can the source of the smell be identified?

Resale– Review how long you plan to remain living in the home; will you live here for a few years or long term?  In either case, what qualities does the home possess that will make for a lucrative resale?

East or West– Which direction does the home face?  This consideration can impact various things such as your energy bills and of course whether you have dark or bright rooms.

Monthly Home Expenses  When you make an offer, you know the cost of the home and likely a rough idea of your mortgage amount (if you are going that route).  But I cannot tell you the number of buyers who simply forget to get the details about the actual operating costs of keeping the home.  Ask for information, see if you can get copies of bills and/or call the local utility offices to get average usage if available.  Don’t forget to factor in the expense it takes for commuting to and from work.

Homeowners’ Associations  Take the time necessary to take a look at the homeowners’ association, if one exists for the subject property.  Ask to read the minutes, find out future plans for capital improvements, if any, and find out what rules exist that could impact the use of your home.

History of the Home– Take some time to try and learn what you can about the history of the home.  Specifically, you should find out whether the home was flipped.  If it was, you may possibly have a higher risk of substandard materials inside the walls, even though the exterior walls and features of the home appear perfect.



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