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Top 10 things to know and to do when buying a home

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One of the hottest trends in real estate has become the restoration of historic homes. The Phoenix Historic Districts, with its rich history, has a wonderfully textured architectural past.  Phoenix is host to historic homes that demonstrate the great and ever-changing architectural trends of the past. If you are in the market to buy a historic home, here are 7 important things to know and to consider:


1.  What is a Historic Home?  A historic home has some significant historic relevance as reflected in its architecture. The National Registry of Historic Homes has an extensive list of homes that are “historic,” but each state, town, or city has designated their own historic districts and landmarks. Phoenix, AZ has 36 historic districts alone, and more coming!


2.  Why Buy?  Historic homes appeal to people for a variety of reasons. Many homeowners like the idea of a historic home because it had significant relevance in the past, while others may just like “the look” of architecture from years past. A large contingency of buyers, while certainly admiring the property’s aesthetic qualities, will buy a historic home because of the benefits that come with restoring it. There may also be tax benefits for those who qualify based on their individual restoration project 


3.  Where to Buy?  There are historic homes in just about every city in Phoenix. This website provides you with links to Historic Phoenix homes, Historic Glendale homes, and Historic Tempe homes. Click on the city of your choice for more information on each historic district and to search homes in that particular district. A few of the more popular Phoenix historic home districts are Willo, Roosevelt, Coronado and Encanto-Palmcroft.


4.  Do research on the home.  Once you are comfortable with any laws and regulations regarding purchasing a historic home, you should decide on a house.  Do research on your home. I will help you. See my “resources” link to many historic homes resources available.


5.  Making an Offer.  The offer should be contingent on your ability to obtain financing, and most importantly, contingent on a satisfactory inspection. These homes are very old, so the inspection is an important element of the buying process. You may find that your offer price goes down significantly after discovering defects in the building.


6.  Inspection.  Get a great inspector.  There are inspectors who specialize in historic homes These people might be more costly than a regular inspector, but they are trained to evaluate properties such as the one you are interested in. I will help you find the right inspector who will look at important items such as:


a.  The Roof. The roof is a huge inspection item. A failing roof will cause leaks and will incur much money for repairs in the future.  Find out what the condition the roof is in and factor its possible decay/problems into your decision.


b.  The Heating/Cooling System.  The heating & cooling system in the building will likely be old if the previous owner has not installed a new one. Just because a system is old, however, does not mean it is bad. Have your inspector evaluate the method of heating & cooling, and suggest ways to maintain/improve on it.


c.  The Structure.  Have an inspector, or better yet, an engineer, evaluate the structure of the building. If there is a big problem with the foundation or the building itself, you will want to know. Structural problems can cost a significant amount of money to repair.


d.  The Electrical.  Have a licensed electrician evaluate all the electrical inside and outside the home. Is the wiring is up to code? Is the panel original or has it been upgraded? Are the outlets grounded with GFI plugs?


Such concerns don't necessarily mean you must give up your dream of buying a piece of the past. From your Real Estate Agent to your Home Inspector, you do need to bring in the knowledge of professionals into your purchase in order to detect any possible hazards or costly repairs that may be looming that are often common in older homes.


7. Finalize Offer/Purchase and Sales.  Take the information you received from your inspector and decide if you need to adjust your offer based on costs of repairs from items missed at your initial introduction to the property. Once you agree on the price and specifications of the deal, have your Real Estate Agent draft the Purchase and Sales Agreement. 


As your Real Estate Agent, I guarantee that I will not leave ONE stone unturned and will be guiding & helping you through the entire process. My team and I are dedicated to a smooth, timely transaction helping you close escrow on the home of your dreams! Contact me now so I can SHOW you what I mean!

Also read:

What You Can Expect From Laura B.

4 Critical Factors In Choosing A Phoenix Historic Homes Realtor

Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMS)

10 Reasons Why You Should Move to Phoenix, Arizona

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