After seeing several homes do you find yourself asking, "Which one had the wonderful kitchen and which one had the ugly carpet?"
To help you remember you can use a simple form to takes notes as you go through each home. Your notes can be brief such as, "Not much cabinet space", or "Beautiful cabinets". Having notes to go back over at the end of the day will help you picture each home in your mind's eye.
Using a rating system:
"Of the ___ homes we have seen we would rank this one at #____"
helps you to narrow down the choices to the home you liked the most.
A copy of this form suitable for printing is available in .pdf (Adobe Acrobat Reader) format at Home Evaluation Form. You are welcome to print out as many copies of the form as you like for your personal use. (Reproduction for anything other than personal use is strictly prohibited.)
Santa Clara County:
Alviso, Castro Center, Cupertino, Holy City, Milpitas, Moffett Field, Moffett Field NAS, Monte Vista, Mount Hamilton, Mountain View, Onizuka AFB, Palo Alto, Permanente, Redwood Estates, Stanford, Sunnyvale
Fremont, Newark, Union City.
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Relocating? Some Things You Should Think About
Economic Stability-A declining employment rate in a area spells trouble for the future resale possibilities of a home.
Community Pride-How well is the community maintained? Is there litter in the streets and lawns that are obviously not cared for properly?
Municipal Services-Is there a public library and how well is it stocked? What are the crime statistics? Is the police force effective and responsive to community needs? Are fire stations located nearby so that they also can respond quickly in an emergency? Does the city have well maintained and parks? Community events, such as an annual parade? Are there activities available for all ages from children through senior citizens?
A good real estate agent will have amassed a wealth of information on these subjects.
Schools-Even if you don't have children or your children are grown and gone from home, schools are very important. They reflect the community's willingness to invest in it's future by providing a quality education for their children. Check to see how local students score on the standardized tests. You can ask your agent about these things, and there are also school reports available for free on the Internet. You can also obtain the phone number of the local school district and check with them yourself.
Property Taxes-While we all like to see lower property taxes, as some point they can be too low and not provide enough money for the city to provide proper services for their residents. While you do not want to live in a community that taxes it's homeowners excessively, it is important to strike a balance between taxes and quality of infrastructure (streets, sewers, water supply).