Beyond the house itself, what should I look for in the property?
Once you've found the right home, take a good look at the land it's built on before you buy. Check for:
Whose are they and where are they located? Will you be able to build a garage, shed, fence or other improvements while avoiding the easement areas?
- Flood plain
Is part of the lot marked for flooding areas? How often and for how long is the area under water? Has the house ever been flooded or threatened by high water?
Where are the true lot lines? Is the fence properly placed within the lot? Will there be room to build a deck or addition to the house later on?
- Utility cables
Where are they located? Will it be possible to add phone lines or upgrade electrical capacity later?
How close is the nearest fire hydrant? This, and the proximity of the fire station, are often important when purchasing homeowner's insurance.
You may have to do a little research to answer some of these questions, and may want to make any contract contingent upon your being satisfied with the results.