Whether you are searching for an Oakland home, perhaps in Redwood Heights or Rockridge , there are four items that you may want to consider that are often overlooked when viewing potential homes. Here are things to pay attention to:
1. The Parking Situation: In many of the older Oakland neighborhoods, street parking is a challenge. Many of these homes were built when the family had only one car. Today, with family teens getting their own cars, one home can require 2-3 parking spaces. It is often something that is not considered when viewing the home initially. It is important to check to see if your car fits into the garage of the house, as well, so you can be assured of at least one parking spot in addition to street spaces.
2. Your Commute: Often, homes are viewed on the weekends, when commuting is much simpler and easier than on normal work days. If you are serious about purchasing the home, drive the work route at least 3-4 times both ways, if possible. Do the same thing with the route to your children's neighborhood schools. You may be surprised at what you discover--either positively or negatively, but at least you will know, and can fit it into your family plans and needs.
3. Your Neighborhood: While it seems obvious that you should check out your future neighborhood, many times you end up concentrating on the home itself. It becomes important to view the neighborhood quietly, on your own, to see if it appears to be a comfortable fit for you. Each buyer has his or her own standards of what will be a pleasant neighborhood, but the most important thing is to view it at different times, and under different circumstances, before you make your final decision. What is it like at night, on the weekend, at early morning commute time, etc.? Take the time to check to assure yourself that this is the right fit.
4. Storage Space: Make sure that the storage space that you are going to need is in place, or you will spend additional funds creating new space, or putting lots of items into expensive storage facilities. Many buyers are upset to discover that they may have to get rid of many of their treasured items when they find that they just won't fit! Take time to measure what will be available in the new home, and see how well if fits with what you are going to need in a new home.
While these may seem simple things to consider, they are often overlooked, and can produce some unpleasant surprises if not dealt with before purchase.