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What Do I Need to Know?

What do I need to know?
GARAGE: Garages add to the resale value and you should always make sure to get at least a two-car garage. Lately, three-car garages have become desirable in some areas of the country.

The laundry facilities should be located somewhere convenient on the main floor of the house, but not in a place it will create an eyesore. Think about whether you want to walk up and down stairs when carrying loads of laundry.

THE KITCHEN. Family activity centers around the kitchen, so this is the most important room of the house. Larger kitchens are better, and they should be provided with modern appliances. Obviously, the dining room and breakfast nook should be located adjacent to the kitchen. In newer houses, the family room should also be extremely close to the kitchen. 

There should be easy access to the back yard, as there will be occasions for barbecues and outdoor entertaining. In addition, it should be a short trek between the garage to the kitchen so hauling groceries in from the car does not become a horrendous chore.

FIREPLACES. The only room where you absolutely have to have a fireplace is the family room. A fireplace in the living room may be nice, but you pay extra for it and will probably rarely use it. At best, it serves as a focal point of the living room, but does not add much in real value.

SWIMMING POOLS. Swimming pools do not provide as much added value as they once did. Safety issues about families with younger children have become more publicized than in the past, so families with small children tend to avoid homes with pools. As a result, having a pool may actually reduce the number of potential homebuyers when you try to resell the home.

CLOSETS, GARAGES AND LAUNDRY. Walk-in closets are extremely desirable for the master bedroom. For the rest of the house, just be sure there is plenty of closet space. Don’t forget space for linens and towels.

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YOUR CLOSING WILL GO SMOOTHER: Lenders can detect any potential problems that might make obtaining a loan difficult. If there is something in your credit which could keep you from qualifying for the home you’ve chosen, it should have been identified and dealt with during the pre-approval process. By the time you get to closing there is less likely to be any surprises, which would hamper your ability to purchase.

(Keep in mind, a lender will most likely pre-approve you at the top of your ability to buy, which means that homes that you consider must be in that range or lower. If you try to go significantly over your approval rate by more than five or ten percent, you will risk losing the home, and possibly the opportunity to buy a home that would have been more suitable).