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Lives of Doctor Wives: Survivor Saturdays: The Next Home

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Survivor Saturdays: The Next Home

Another year is wrapping up and some have matched and some are interviewing. In either case, a move is likely and home shopping will soon become a priority. Whether you want to rent or buy, in this economy you should "think outside the classifieds."

Don't forget to check out for-sale-by-owner sites like www.forsalebyowner.com, fsbo.com, homesbyowner.com and craigslist.org to see what's available. If you're looking to by a home, this can save you realtor fees. If you're looking to rent, you might find some owners who have not been successful selling and might consider renting. You might even be able to strike a deal on a lease-to-own home arrangement.

Before you make any decisions though, check out the neighborhoods. Sometimes houses inside the city limits pay additional property taxes, or sewer charges. Sometimes homes that are inside one city are actually annexed into neighboring city. Some houses in a neighborhood might be on septic even though the houses next the it are not - even in the really nice neighborhoods.

Know what the surrounding area looks like, too. Quarries can create dust and noise for miles. Factories can emit nasty odors. Our first home was surrounded by a tall wood fence, and looked like a mini garden of Eden. After we moved in, we realized a trucking company was on the other side and we heard truck noises day and night. In another home, an undeveloped lot continually washed out onto our driveway and street, making a muddy mess when the kids came inside.

Settling into a new home is fun and exciting, as long as you don't end up paying too much or uncovering some unpleasantness. Looking beyond the traditional resources can save you from both of these.


Blogger Desiree said...

Great advice, Kathi! As someone who has bought 3 homes in my short life, I also suggest driving by (or parking and walking the block) after your bedtime to see how quiet the neighborhood is (constantly barking dogs? Loud parties?) AND after school to see how noisy the neighbor kids are... (are they using your driveway as a skateboard ramp? etc)... I read that in California, annoying neighbors have to be "disclosed" officially, but that's not so in most places! LOL... We avoided several homes we loved because of the noisy dogs issue, empty lot next door, etc... and though our new neighborhood is mostly wonderful and quiet at night, we have preschoolers from down the street who turn their motorized cars around in our drive in the afternoon... not very helpful at baby's naptime or when my husband is trying to sleep or study.

April 12, 2010 at 11:10 AM  
Blogger Kathi the wingspouse said...

Good points, Desiree. Now that you mention it, we learned too late that one of our prior homes was in a neighborhood where it was common for 8-13 yr olds to drive golf carts around the streets. Talk about some bad drivers! I would have had a cow if my children had been young.

April 13, 2010 at 9:16 PM  

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