• Kate Barnes


Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make.

Here are 4 things to look for to give yourself peace of mind, when buying a home.

#1 Home and Roof Inspection Reports

#2 Termite Reports

#3 Neighborhood Nuisances

#4 Future Development Plans

#1 Home & Roof Inspection Reports

Your realtor sent you an almost 200 page document to read before submitting the offer tomorrow?!!

Panic stricken, you can either focus on the most important elements of the disclosure package or leave it to luck! I definitely encourage and strongly advise you to read the disclosures. In particular, pay close attention to the Home & Roof Inspection Reports. They will go through the home and itemise any areas of concern structurally and aesthetically as well as list the recommended repairs to be done once the home changes ownership.

Does the home need a new roof? Perhaps the electrical or plumbing elements need to be updated. The side gate could be broken or the shower isn't sealed properly and has a water leak.

Many home owners live in their homes for years without doing very much maintenance to the property. Therefore, it's important to be realistic and understand that usually there are a number of items in any house that will need some attention. Reading the home and roof inspection reports will give you insight into what exactly needs to be done, what is the scope of the work and potentially even help you to get an idea of the costs involved to complete the work.

While it's advantageous to be realistic and understand that no house is perfect, having an understanding of the condition of the home, beyond the aesthetics, is extremely valuable information to help you decided whether that is the home for you.

#2 Termite Reports

Similarly to #1, termite reports are one of the most important documents to read before purchasing a home. In the bay area, it is not uncommon for a home to have dryrot/fungus and termites. Though this sounds nasty and scary, it's so common and can be easily fixed by a professional. At the end of each termite report there will also be a quote to suggest the costs involved to do the repairs. Tenting the property before moving in is also a great idea for any home.

#3 Neighborhood Nuisances

You've researched different area options and have decided on the spot you want to live in! It's an exciting time for sure, but it's important to keep your eyes open for neighborhood nuisances. Location is one of the few things you cannot change during home ownership!

People will always be drawn to different areas, whether it's to do with schools, lifestyle, proximity to work, proximity to family or friends and of course, budget! Beyond this however, there are a couple of ways to see if this is truly the right home for you.

In the seller disclosures (provided within the disclosure packet) you will see questionnaires filled in directly by the seller(s). These questions must be answered honestly and there are a number of questions relating to potential nuisances close by, whether they be airplanes, trains, neigborhood dogs barking or even just a nuisance neighbor.

The second way to build your confidence (or lack of confidence) when buying a home is to do a neighborhood scout yourself. I always suggest that buyers who are unsure about an area should go to the area in the evening, after dark and see how they feel there. Everyone has different thresholds of comfort and preferences, so it's important that this is done by the buyer(s).

#4 Future Development Plans

In some cases, future neighborhood development plans can be incredibly lucrative. For example, the new Google campus at Diridon Station in San Jose or even just seeing new constructions nearby to the home can been wonderful for the area in terms of building home equity over the coming years.

However, if those plans are to take place right next door to your new home, you will need to take into consideration living so close to a construction site for a period of time. This can mean daily increased traffic congestion, dust and noise.

If you are planning to sell or buy a home in the Bay Area and would like assistance, I would love to hear from you.

Kate Barnes


METIS Real Estate 415.521.6813 | |

Youtube: Kate Barnes Realtor | Dre 02092777

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