Questions to Ask a Realtor When Shopping for a Home
If you are buying a home on the front range of Colorado, you likely have many concerns. When is this hot real estate market finally going to crash? How much work will I have to put into my new home? How will this home hold up in the face of heavy snow and cold winter temperatures?
If this is your first time buying a home, the range of questions likely does not stop there. After all, buying a home is a major step in your life’s journey, and you will definitely want to be sure of yourself before signing away that down payment.
The good news is that these concerns are not unique, with every buyer, first-time or otherwise, constantly checking and second-guessing every property he or she looks at. To help you in this vetting process, be sure to ask your realtor the following helpful questions to make sure you are getting the best home Colorado has to offer.
What Aging in Place Features Does the Home Include?
While you undoubtedly want a home that you can live in comfortably and enjoy for yourself, one of the primary motivations behind purchasing a home is the investment aspect, with the hope that the home will increase in value with the passing of time, should the need to sell arise.
To this effect, simple economics teaches that the greater the demand for a product, the higher the price it will command. To help ensure optimal demand for your property, it is important that it effectively utilizes aging in place features.
Aging in place features are those aspects of a home that allow residents to enjoy full comfort and functionality of the property as they advance in life. Some common aging in place features include:
No-slip tile in the bathroom
Custom handrails at various locations in the house to aid in crouching and rising
Gradual ramps leading up to the home’s entrances
While Colorado does not currently have one of the oldest populations in the country, the continued rush of the Baby Boom cohort into retirement could see an influx of retirement-age settlers. Therefore, aging in place features will give your property appeal to a larger market, helping ensure that will command a premium price moving forward.
What Renovations Have Been Made to the Kitchen?
One of the frustrating aspects of apartment living is that it is basically impossible to host more than a couple of guests at a time. Therefore, visions of hosting this year’s New Year’s Eve party dance before the eyes of many desirous homeowners.
No area of a home is more essential to this community atmosphere than the kitchen, with poorly designed and/or dated kitchens creating more trouble than they are worth when it comes to hosting get-togethers. As such, when asking your realtor about kitchen renovations, listen to see if he or she mentions any of the following features:
Energy-efficient appliances that lower the cost of cooking and chilling meals
Durable, nonporous acrylic solid surfaces for countertops to prevent staining and streamline the cleaning process
Sink faucets that have low flow measures to restrict water waste
What Framing Materials Were Used During Construction?
While talking about foundation and framing are not nearly as exciting as talking about the kitchen, they are absolutely essential in determining whether or not your home is a diamond-in-the-rough or a potential money pit.
This is especially true in the Colorado market, as the state faces arguably a wider range of weather conditions than any location in the country.
While most homes built in the 1970’s through the turn of the century featured structural insulated panels that utilized porous wood sheathing, modern contractors are increasingly capitalizing on the benefits of concrete homes. Insulated concrete forms (ICF) offer a number of advantages that traditional wood frame structures cannot match, making them ideal for Colorado residences, including:
High thermal mass that helps ensure a stable interior temperature, even in the winter’s coldest hours
A solid, one-piece fabrication that creates an outstanding barrier to air and moisture
Resistance to fire, mold, and insect damage
Shopping for a home can be an involved process, especially in a sizzling market like Colorado where first-time buyers may be especially afraid of making a misstep. To help ease your mind and ensure that you are making a wise investment with your money, be sure to ask your realtor about aging in place features, kitchen renovations, and framing materials when shopping around for the ideal front-range home.
Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.