10 things to bear in mind

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When starting on your home-buying adventure, there are many factors that folks often overlook until it’s too late.

Cell Signal — Let’s face it, most homeowners are ditching landlines. If you rely on a cell phone for just about everything, check around indoors and out for your reception and service compatibility. Ask your provider to diagnose the cell signal. There are ways to improve tower communication should there be an issue.

Water — Unless you’re a cold shower enthusiast, which also seems to be trending, you don’t want to find out the hard way that your hot water is nonexistent or only goes until you’re ready to rinse. Be sure to also check the pressure of the water throughout while running more than one fixture. Make sure to test all the faucets, including the shower, and give the toilet a good flush or two. Perhaps even take it on a test run. After all, this may very well be your lavatory.

Commute — What will your commute be like? Test it to and from the house your looking at and your job and other frequently traveled destinations. See what rush hours traffic look like in the morning and in the evening.

Storage — When viewing a listing, remember to focus not only on the house itself but any outbuildings used for storage. These sheds often don’t get much consideration, but they should. Even if the house you’re looking at comes with a garage, be sure to consider your parking arrangements and personal storage needs. For example, mowers, snow removal equipment, woodworking and gardening tools all need to be stored somewhere safe and dry. Trending now are properties with sheds included in the bill of sale. These clearly can be a big advantage, especially in the Chicago area!

Environs — If the home that’s for sale is in a neighborhood you are not familiar with personally, it is absolutely worth a few trips throughout the neighborhood during different times of day. For example, is the property located in a college neighborhood? Are Airbnb/vacation rentals allowed, as the municipality may or may not have restrictions in place. Is it tourist attraction that may result in unwelcome foot traffic and parking.

Noise — Noise can be an issue for many from those who value their serenity to those who can’t sleep when it’s too quiet. Take into consideration plane or train noise as well. Is the home is near a freeway, test the comfort level with the windows open or sit outside and have a conversation.

Resale Value — Even if you plan on living in the property for several years, always consider the resale value. Is the neighborhood on the upswing or is it financially struggling? Consider details such as gentrification, or lack of, or anything that may scare off potential future buyers. Be sure to add value to your portfolio with improvements that have the best return when you sell. Ask a realtor for local market sales comparisons and an area analysis to better understand the resale value in your area as it compares to your property of interest.

Association Fees and Rules — Is the property that’s for sale in a community where homeowners have to pay association dues? Are there rules in place regarding decoration or other factors? If the home is in an association, find out what the dues are immediately and read through the bylaws.

Bedroom-to-Bathroom Ratio — You’ll never regret having more bathroom’s, half or full. Not having enough bathrooms is an inconvenience that can make you regret a home purchase.

Neighbors — Try to meet your neighbors and have a conversation with them. If possible, ask them how they feel about your home and the neighborhood. Meeting your neighbors can have a huge impact on your decision.

Dear readers,

It’s been an honor and privilege to share my expertise with you for more than a decade. I hope you’ve my found my advice helpful as you’ve embarked on one life’s most remarkable and important adventures: the buying or selling of your home. The next time you’re in the market, be sure to check out my column at franoi.com/realty. I’ll be there with you every step of the way.


To contact me, call 708-583-8300, e-mail gz@zerillorealty.com or visit www.zerillorealty.com, or follow me on social media @zerillorealty.


About Giuseppe Zerillo

Giuseppe Zerillo is the managing broker and owner of Zerillo Realty Inc. He is active on many boards, serving as village trustee of Harwood Heights and corporate secretary for Casa Italia. In 2011, he received the IANU Foundation's 2011 David Award for outstanding promise in the field of real estate, and in 2012 he was honored by the Illinois State Crime Commission for his community outreach. Constantly seeking opportunities to give back, he donates to several charities and raises money for children with disabilities.

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