As I came home last night to my trashy neighbors having not one, but TWO broken down cars in their front yard (yes they are that high quality!), I got to thinking about things I wish I had thought about when we bought our house.
1. Pay attention to your future neighbor's houses.
You can tell a lot about your neighbors by the condition of their house and their front yard. The two times we looked at our house, I didn't pay any attention to what the neighbor's houses looked like. Our house is in a really good neighborhood, where every house is kept up and the yards are cared for. Except our neighbors. They are THAT house. While they didn't have broken down cars in the yard then, they did have all sorts of junk in their driveway and a half put together fence. I didn't really notice until we got possession and they came over and introduced themselves. That's when I noticed that they are a little
rough country. Sure enough, in the year and a half that we have had our house, we have had to deal with all sorts of crap from them and their kids, from screaming profanity outside around our kids, to picking up trash thrown over the fence in our backyard, to the kids lighting firecrackers in our driveway during a burn ban last summer. Seriously, seriously annoying. Not only that, but the trashiness of their house will affect our house should we ever go to sell it in the future.
2. Drive by during or just after a heavy rain.
We made sure our house isn't in a flood zone before we purchased it. However, the sewer system in my neighborhood is old and can't handle heavy rains well. The above photo is what happens in my neighborhood almost every time we have a heavy rain. Usually, when this happens, we don't need to be somewhere or we're at work and it has subsided enough by the time we get home that while it is really annoying, it hasn't posed much of a problem. However, it was so bad once that it flooded our garage, crawl space and basement while we were on vacation this summer!
3. Think about that landscaping
Our house has beautiful landscaping and nice, large shade trees. I love plants and gardening and so I was in love with all of the flowering trees and shrubs when we viewed the house in April. However, fast forward to the summer when you're trying to take care of everything with two small children. That beautiful landscaping in the backyard? Yeah, it's all we can do to trim the shrubs and keep the weeds that have grown up cut down. And, those beautiful maple and oak shade trees in the front yard? Such a pain to rake in the fall! We had 41 bags of leaves from just the backyard...we haven't even begun to rake the front yet because that beautiful oak tree doesn't drop its leaves until mid to late-December!
These are just a few things that have crossed my mind as something we should've been more cognizant about when we were looking at houses. What are some other things you have thought of when going through the home buying process?