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My Home Buying Tips

Research city neighborhoods yourself by contacting local the police department or drive around during different times of the day.

Expect lower maintenance costs with a brand-new home.

When interest rates are low, opt for a fixed mortgage.

You can deduct on that years tax return points paid by either party on the purchase of your own residence.

Pay attention to the original listing date of the homes you inspect; sellers tend to be more flexible in the price the longer the home is on the market.

Buying a house whose style is uniquely individual will probably minimize rather than maximize its resale value because the house will appeal to a somewhat more limited number of potential buyers.

If you think you may need more space in the near future, be sure the house and lot will allow for expansion.

A roof that complements the style of a home and is carefully maintained adds to the home's visual appeal and its resale value.

Wood floors suggest warmth, quality, and good taste and are an asset when it comes time to sell a house.

Always overlook paint, wallpaper, and carpet. These are inexpensive changes.

Even if the quality of a school district doesn't matter to you now, remember it might someday to another buyer.

Most home shoppers prefer a combination of ceramic tile and vinyl as a covering for bathroom walls, creating a positive effect on the house's resale value. Ceramic tile is usually installed wherever water comes in contact with the wall.

Remember: trees enhance the beauty and value of a lot and house.

Homes with a pleasant view of the horizon often sells at a premium above similar homes without the view.

House size: If you buy a small or medium house for the neighborhood, the larger homes can help pull up your value. Buying what you need in a more prestigious neighborhood may provide more financial reward that getting what you want in a less desirable neighborhood.

Three or four bedrooms houses are the most popular among homebuyers. There should always be at least two bathrooms, or the opportunity for 2 bathrooms via a finished basement.

Walk in closets are extremely desirable for the master bedroom.

Garages are always a plus, especially with Wisconsin winters.

Laundry facilities should be located somewhere where it doesn't create an eyesore. Think about whether you want to walk up and down stairs when carrying loads of laundry.

Family and social activities often center around the kitchen, so this is the most important room of the house.

Fireplaces are nice to have. A fireplace in the family room will be used often. A fireplace in the living room may be nice, but you pay extra for it and will probably rarely use it.

Swimming pools do not provide as much added value as they once did. Buy a home with a pool for your own enjoyment, not as an investment.

Basements with walk out exposure add approximately $10,000 to sales price.

Most buyers sell within 5 years of owning.

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