You’ve started your Wilmington home search and have created your list of NEEDS and WANTS. You’re feeling really confident that you’ve thought of everything. Well, I’m going to try and burst your bubble today (I’m feeling a little feisty), but for good reason. It’s very important when you make an investment as large as a home that it fits your quality of life. It’s surprising how one bad feature can taint your time living there. A home isn’t easy to liquidate quickly, so you really need to get it right.
Here are some area amenities and features you may or may not have considered:
- Cellphone Service. Is the home in a dead zone? If you’re on your cellphone a lot, you’ll want to make sure that you get good reception, especially if it’s business related. There’s nothing worse than having to say, “Hold on, I’ve got to go outside,” every time you get a phone call. Wilmington has pretty good service coverage, but there are still dead zones, so don’t hesitate during showings to pull your cellphone out to check the strength of reception.
- Food Delivery. If you have a favorite restaurant that’s your go-to for delivery service, you may want to check if they deliver to the listing you’re interested in. In Wilmington, many restaurants won’t deliver outside the official city limits, even when it just means crossing Market Street. This might not be the breaking point on your love for a home, but it may help you decide between two of your favorite listings.
- Neighborhood in the Morning vs. Night. A neighborhood’s character can change throughout the day. A property description may read “quiet neighborhood” or “low traffic”, but don’t take anyone’s word on it. If you view homes in the morning, make sure you do a drive-thru of the neighborhood in the evening. Traffic and noise may pick up at different hours of the day, and you may find it’s more than you can handle. Don’t want to take our word for it? Read this blogger’s experience with buying in her neighborhood.
- The Orientation of the House. An optimally positioned home can help you save on your heating and cooling bills, and enjoy more sunlight throughout the day. A home in North Carolina should have its most-used rooms facing south where they will be hit by more sunlight and warmth in the winter, while being protected from sunrays during the summer. A home can differentiate from the east-west orientation rule, meaning the shortest ends of the home face east and west, by 20 degrees before it loses the benefits. Also, make note of how many windows are located on the southern side of the home as heat transfers more readily through windows than walls. Too many windows may make the associated rooms too warm for comfort.
- Poorly Positioned Trees. This is something that comes from my own personal experience. I purchased a home with two giant oak trees, one in the front yard and one in the back yard, because I hated the look of the newer homes with immature trees and bare yards. The oaks provided the home with plenty of shade and greenery, and had that classic southern look with Spanish moss growing from the limbs. For the first few years, we had no big problems with the trees, even after a hurricane came through the region. Then, we had an ice storm (not normal for our area) and that’s when I learned how dangerous it can be to have a large tree that close to your home. One limb came down on my roof during the storm. Another limb damaged by the storm came down on top of the main electrical line to the house a month later. Two months later, when the hot weather hit, three more limbs that were damaged started to break off. Call in the tree trimmers! Long story short, make sure there aren’t limbs hanging over the roof or you may be paying a pretty penny the next time a tropical storm, hurricane, or ice storm hits.
Hopefully, this list contains something you haven’t considered or, at least, inspired you to approach your home search from a different angle. If you’ve already bought a home and found there was something you regret not thinking of before the fact, we invite you to share it in the comments below so new buyers can learn from you.
As always, if you have any questions about buying a home in the Wilmington area, don’t hesitate to contact us!