Things to ponder when buying a new home
History of the property you are buying: It might be a good idea to review the past history of the property you plan to purchase. If the home is in Utah County, this link will provide you with past owner history, tax information, etc.
http://www.co.utah.ut.us/LandRecords/Index.asp for properties not in Utah County, do a google search of “land records” for the county you wish to purchase in and see if there is a site similar to the one for Utah County.
Have you filled out a “Change of address form” with the post office? This can be found online at www.usps.com or it can be picked up from any local post office.
Are your utilities in line to be turned on or transferred? You need to contact your local city office to complete an application to get utilities in your name. This can sometimes take a few days to process so it is wise to get the ball rolling in advance. Most cities will require you to submit a copy of the HUD settlement statement to prove you are the new owner (so you may not be able to change them until you close on the house). It is a good idea to make sure the utilities avoid getting turned off (it will be cheaper to transfer them instead of having to get them turned on again).
What about your Gas or heating bill? Depending on the city you purchase in, you will also need to get your heat set up. As an added thought “Do you have a gas clothes dryer or an electric?” You may want to make sure that your new home has the proper hook-ups for such appliances so that there are no problems upon moving in. (Ice-makers, stoves, etc.)
Is your furniture going to fit in your new home? Especially big things like your refrigerator and oversized couch? It is a good idea to take measurements of your furniture and note the figures on a sheet of paper that you can take with you when looking for homes. Don’t forget your measuring tape as well so you can measure the necessary areas of your potential new home.
Does your new home have a sprinkling system? If so, you may want to make sure that the system is actually working before occupying the residence. If it is not working, it may be a good idea to have it checked to help avoid any flooding or any future unforeseen problems. If you move in to a home during the winter, make sure you ask the seller about the sprinkler system and the timer and ask for any specific requirements (where is the stop and waste valve, is there a diagram of the system, where are the sprinkler heads, etc.)
Do your vehicles fit into the garage? We just had to add this question as a personal joke, but in all seriousness you may want to check on this.
Are the window coverings included in the purchase of your new home? It may sound silly but this is one question that more times than not is overlooked. You buy a new home and expect the window coverings to come with it and when you go to move in, they are all gone. If you want the window coverings included in the home, just ask your real estate agent to ask for them as part of your offer on the home.
Is any “personal property” included with the sale? Personal property could be a hot tub, a trampoline that is buried in the ground, a playhouse, a swing set, even a large, built in entertainment center. In many cases, even the fridge can be considered as personal property. Typically, anything that can be picked up and moved easily (or maybe even things that are very hard to move) can be considered personal property that is not included in the sale of the home. Make sure you are very clear in your purchase contract about what items you expect to be included with the sale of the property.
Sometimes, writing certain items in to the contract can cause a problem with getting financing. For instance, if you ask the seller to leave a hot tub and a water feature (fountain) and those items have a value of $xx, the underwriter may not like to see that you are obtaining personal property items of value in your sale (lenders do not like to think that a portion of the loan is being used for “personal property” because in the event of a foreclosure, you could haul those items away, making it harder for them to recoup their loss.