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Tips for Homebuyers

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Tips for Your Home Search

TIP: In your quest for a new home, look beyond the surface.

1. Get real estate agent to help spot hidden potential: could a bonus room be converted to an office; could a wall be knocked out to expand a kitchen?

2. Get information about nearby homes: if neighbors have recently replaced windows or HVAC systems, you might have to, also.

3. Ask agent for values of nearby homes; don’t buy most expensive home on block.

4. Look for hidden problems in home.

5. Tap wood around doors and windows with dull knife. If it feels soft or crumbles, it’s rotten.

TIP: Vertical wall cracks are generally okay and can be patched; horizontal cracks could mean foundation problems.

6. Check nail heads in walls: if they’re pulling out, house could have structural problems.

7. Calculate sleeper costs like taxes, utilities, and/or homeowner-association dues.

8. Visit neighborhood at different times of day and night.

9. Practice commute to work and nearest stores.

10. Research schools. The better the schools, the higher your resale value.