Thursday, October 23, 2014

House hunting tips for single people

Sometimes on shows like HGTV's House Hunters or Property Virgins, I see singles looking for a house.

I got my one and only house in my fifties--but I  understand that many young people are better money managers and think ahead.

Forbes Magazine's website had a story Oct 21, 2014, on tips for singles thinking of buying a home.

First, look at homes you can afford. Don't get in the traps that took down so many people earlier in this century. Employment can change. Health can change. Don't over-extend.

Be mindful of your safety. Even male singles are vulnerable in certain neighborhoods. Look for a low crime area--ask about crime. Is it well lit? Are there locks on the windows and doors? How about a security system?

How handy are you? Remember--there will be no nice super to fix things--it's on you. Personally I go nuts trying to keep the grass low enough to be ignored by the little "enforcement" trucks that sneak around trying to raise revenue by fining you for tall grass and weeds. Just the other day, the water heater caught on fire--the firemen drained it and a new one was a cool grand. Bam!

You can pay a yearly maintenance company a flat rate and then it's $45 or so a call for people to fix things--but they often find a way out of it or send pretty sloppy people.

Above all, this may be your home, but think of resale from the jump. Try for as many bedrooms as possible and affordable--you may close one off, but it will increase the resale value.

May I add some advice? I often see people on these shows glance in a bathroom and say, "This will have to go." Getting a room remodeled is a huge deal--getting things to "go" can be a nightmare. See if it's "liveable."

I smile when I hear that--these youngsters will soon see homeowning for what it is--part of life's rich tapestry.

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