The Top 3 Things A Home-Buyer Can Do To Protect Their Investment

Buying a home can be exhilarating…owning a home can be exciting. Investing in your own home is smart, too, for a number of reasons. For most of us, the financial investment is a considerable one. I haven’t heard of too many homes being given away lately, have you? So what can the prudent home-buyer do to protect that substantial investment? What does it mean to “protect your investment?”
1) First, you should arrange for the services of a professional Home Inspector to inspect the home prior to your purchase so that you know the physical condition of the property. I am often surprised at just how little time a prospective buyer, who is already under contract to purchase the property, has actually spent at the property. I have stated before that a Home Inspector is paid to be suspicious even when there is nothing particular to be suspicious that’s what you need prior to plunking down a significant amount of money for that new home…someone who is suspicious and someone who is not “in love” with that beautiful new home. A professional Home Inspection will provide you with valuable insight as to the physical condition of the property without emphasis on the floor plan of the house or the colors of the interior walls or of the condition of the wall-to-wall carpet. Having a Home Inspection will be mostly invaluable to you in your purchasing decision because the Inspection Report will identify areas of concern that you may not have yet considered. Is there any indication of damage from past plumbing leaks? What about from roof leakage? Are there any obvious electrical hazards present that need to be corrected? Is that garage overhead door operating safely? The Home Inspector should also teach you a bit about the home because homes don’t generally come with Owners Manuals. Where is that main water shut-off valve located in case you were to have to turn off the water… right now? What is the most efficient way to operate the heat pump system?
2) So now you’ve made a really good and informed ‘ve signed on the dotted line and you’re the home-owner. Not a home-owner… THE Homeowner. It’s yours. It’s your baby! Not just part of it but the whole enchilada. Your perspective of how to protect your investment has just changed. Now, you have to maintain the home and do everything that you can to make sure it’s value is maintained. And that’s a tall order and one that is often taken lightly or outright misunderstood. The maintenance of a home requires a significant general commitment as well as considerable expenditures of both time and money. Home Inspectors routinely report on various conditions that are quite costly to correct and, often, these issues could have been prevented with a good maintenance plan and some affirmative action. Anything to do with water is a recurring and prominent theme with a home. Keeping the exterior in a well maintained condition is siding and wood trim need to be periodically prepared and painted to prevent deterioration. Plumbing leaks, and roof leaks, need to be discovered as quickly as possible to prevent damage…there’s that water “thingy” again.
And what’s going on in those spaces of the home…those places into which most people rarely venture. What’s happening in that crawl space or attic space? You need to know what’s happening, and to know, you have to go there or have someone else check it out for you. Having your cooling and heating systems serviced is important to their well-being and to their longevity. And the list goes on.
3) At some time in the future, you are going to decide you want to sell your home. Maybe you need to upgrade to larger spaces or maybe you’re in need of down-sizing. Irrespective of your motivations, you’ll want to be able to fetch the most amount of money that the market will bear. Right? So pay attention to the way the home looks. Pay attention to how it presents itself. Drag out that dusty ole’ home-buyers hat, put it on, go out to the street, and take a good long, hard and unbiased look at your home. Walk around the exterior. What do you see? Do you see well-manicured shrubbery or scraggly bushes brushing up against the exterior walls? Do you see blinds hanging askew in the windows? Do you see “stuff” around the perimeter of the exterior? While a Home Inspector doesn’t pay too much attention to cosmetic items, you can bet your hard-earned money that your prospective buyers are doing just that. Do you remember how the home looked the first time you saw it? So spruce up the exterior. Clean and tidy up the interior. Know that, just as you did, your prospective buyer will form a first impression and that you want that first impression to be a positive one.
Protecting your investment begins with your due diligence prior to purchase and doesn’t end until you have sold your investment for the fair price that you deserve. Hopefully, with some knowledge, forethought, and a good maintenance plan, that price will be one that is profitable for you.

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