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10 Things Most People Forget to Check When Viewing a Home for Sale

You're on the hunt for your next home. You know what you're looking for—a large kitchen, a modern bathroom and a two-car garage. But are there things you may be overlooking? Here are 10 things people often forget to check for when looking for a home to buy.

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Aerial view of residential neighborhood in the Autumn.
Arina P Habich/Shutterstock

The neighborhood

If the home that’s for sale is in a neighborhood you don’t know well, it’s worth a few trips to the neighborhood during different times of the day. Check out the neighborhood at night—is it a place where you’d feel safe once the sun goes down? Is the home in a college neighborhood where late-night parties may keep you up at night?

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a radio mast for the mobile phone network towers above a residential building into the blue sky in a residential area

Cell signal

If you rely on a cell phone for just about everything, check to see if you can get a signal inside the home for sale. If you can’t get cell service, will this be a problem for you?

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urban traffic jam in a city street road during evening rush hour
Dmitry Kalinovsky/Shutterstock

Your commute

What will your commute be like to and from work? Test your commute from the house that’s for sale. See what rush hour is like in the morning and in the evening.

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House near train rails and iron crossing. House with green trees and yellow flower
Julija Vidjajeva/Shutterstock


Noise can be an issue for many home buyers. Is there plane or train traffic noise? Is the home near a freeway? If you’re a light sleeper, noise can be major problem.

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American dollar bill with check
Billion Photos/Shutterstock

Association fees and rules

Is the home that’s for sale in a community where you’ll have to pay homeowner association dues? Will you be able to paint your front door your favorite color? If the home is in an association, find out what the dues are and read through the bylaws. Watch out for these other sneaky costs first-time homeowners need to know about.

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View of Front Doors of Two Neighbouring Red Brick English Town Houses on a Residential Estate
1000 Words/Shutterstock


Ask about the neighbors and try to meet them, if possible. Neighbors can make or break how you feel about your home. Meeting your neighbors can really help you gain insight into what the neighborhood is like.

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Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock

Resale value

Even if you plan on staying in the home for several years, consider the resale value. Does the home back up to a busy street? Are there several apartment buildings on the street? Is the neighborhood undergoing a revitalization or is it struggling? Consider things that may scare off potential future buyers.

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shower head

Water pressure

Imagine moving into your new home only to find the water pressure is severely lacking. Make sure to test the faucets, including the shower and give the toilet a flush.

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Shot of a spacious modern bedroom connected to a bathroom

Bedroom-to-bathroom ratio

When it comes to bedrooms and bathrooms, you’ll never regret having more bathrooms. Not having enough bathrooms can make you regret a home purchase.

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Parents Take A Break On Sofa With Son On Moving Day
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Is there room to expand?

When looking at a home for sale, consider if there is room to grow. If you don’t have kids now but plan to in the future, will there be enough room? Is there room to add on if needed and would it be affordable? If you work from home, is there a place where you can do so without distractions?

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham is a writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.