In the past, we have discussed how important curb appeal can be to potential buyers.  We have made some suggestions about making the home as appealing as possible-both inside and out.  Now let us reverse the roles.  Let's assume you are looking at an Alameda home or an Alameda Bay Farm Island home with the intention of buying it.  It looks right.  It feels right.  However, you have only been inside on a tour once, or possibly a few more times.  What is the next step towards making the decision?  How can you avoid discovering unpleasant surprises once you purchase the home?  Besides the obvious home inspections and disclosures that you would be receiving, an additional plan towards making your decision is to drive around the area-a lot!

 You really should expand your area of consideration about the home.  Here are some suggestions of things that could get overlooked by concentrating only on the house:

a. Obviously, drive by the home from every angle.  Bring a notebook and record things that you did not see while inside, but can see from a distance, or by driving by.  Check the neighbor's homes more closely.  How careful are they about maintenance and upkeep?  Judge how that will affect your home's value now, and in the future, as the homes get older. Are there elements that are going to irritate you once you move in?  That could go from basketball hoops immediately adjacent to your driveway to yards strewn with dead plants and debris.

b. Consider the proximity of amenities that you are going to need regularly.  How close are the schools, grocery stores, banks, libraries, larger shopping centers, and transportation sources like buses or BART?  Will a trip to each one be a project, or just a simple cruise downtown?  If you enjoy walking or biking, how realistic will that be for you?  If you have a special hobby, like golf or tennis, how will that fit in to your home's location? Are the parks and public recreation areas in good condition, or badly in need of repair?

c. A final consideration is to consider making these inspections at different times of the day, and days of the week.  Drive by at night to all the locations that you will be using.  Drive by your potential neighborhood at night?  How different is it?  What is it like on the weekends vs. a Monday afternoon?

All of these are extra elements than need review before you make your final decision to assure that once you move in to your dream home, it will be the one you hoped and planned for.


Posted by Bruce Wagg on


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