The important things to watch out for when buying a home

Recently there was an article on the RealtyTimes website entitled The Home Buying Checklist That Could Keep You From Buying The Wrong Home.

The article gives some great advice about what to look for when you are unfamiliar with the neighborhood and the property.

We thought it would be helpful to potential buyers for us to cover some of these points and added a few of our own that are relevant to the local market.

  • Is there a place for your dogs to hang out? Is there a place for the dog bowls to go in the kitchen? Are there parks or hiking trails nearby that allow dogs? You can check how pooch-friendly your target neighborhood is at
  • Is there a place for your kitchen garbage can? Such a seemingly little thing. But if you don’t have space for a garbage can that is convenient to the kitchen, it could mean you either have to walk with food garbage to another room, or you’ll be tripping over the trash.
  • What direction does the house face? In Manitou Springs and other Colorado mountain/foothill communities, this could be a significant issue. Ideally, for purposes of snow melt and driveway accessibility, a house with southern or eastern exposure may be more beneficial. You can get great views from a north facing property on a hill or mountainside, but is it going to be cooler in the winter months and not get as much sunlight to warm the snow and ice that may build up on the driveway.
  • Is the house or property (or any part of it) in a Flood Zone? Given the floods of recent years in and around Manitou Springs, it is critical to know if you are buying a property in a flood zone. If you are purchasing a home with a mortgage and it is located in a flood zone, you will be required to secure additional flood insurance. You can look up potential neighborhoods on the FEMA floods maps.
  • Is the house in a high-risk rural-urban interface area where it might be vulnerable to wildfires? This is also important to consider because again, it may affect what you pay for insurance as well as the type of roof you should have and how the vegetation near the house should be mitigated.
  • Where is the nearest Starbucks? Don’t drink coffee? Doesn’t matter. The “Starbucks Effect” means higher home appreciation if you live within proximity to a Starbucks.
  • Is there an HOA? This is important to know if you have an RV or a project car that might be parked in your driveway. Or if you’ve always wanted to paint your house chartreuse and fuchsia.
  • How are the schools? Even if you don’t have children and never plan to, a good school district is important to home values. Manitou Springs is located in desirable D-14; read more about the school district here.
  • Is the wiring what you need? If you are looking at purchasing an older home in Manitou Springs, Old Colorado City or the Westside, you should investigate how old and what state the electrical wiring is in. Manitou Springs Real Estate can refer you to a licensed contractor to help you make this determination.
  • Is there evidence of foundation settling? Homes in some areas in and around Colorado Springs are prone to foundation settling (due to age of homes, landslides, and expansive soils). You can check if your home is in a landslide zone here.
  • Are there sex offenders nearby? Unfortunately, checking out the people around you is a reality in this day and age. The El Paso County sex offender registry is accessible online for the general public.
  • Was the house used as an illegal meth lab or drug production lab? This is important to know because there are serious health consequences to living in a house that has not undergone proper remediation. The Colorado Springs Police maintains a former meth lab location list.
    Any of the above points may be deal-breakers (or makers) for you so be sure to do your due diligence when researching a potential home and neighborhood. Manitou Springs Real Estate has seven qualified local experts to help you through the process – give us a call today!original article:

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