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Buying Or Renting A Home Use A Checklist Here Are Some Ideas

Updated on August 11, 2014

No Place Like Home

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A Cute Cottage In The Woods
A Cute Cottage In The Woods
A Cute Cottage In The Woods

The Decision To Rent Or Buy

Many factors play into the decision whether you want to rent or buy that dream home but precautions need to be used as this can be a major decision affecting the rest of your life. I remember back to the time we bought our first home, if I knew now what I didn't know, we more than likely wouldn't have made the purchase. We made the best of it until his passing in 2003 and the house had been paid off. There is a lot that needs to be thought out, we moved for the simple reason that we lived in a two bedroom house with two daughters who needed their own room. The people who sold us the house, worked with my father in law, so we were encouraged to purchase the home. We should have took the time to look at other homes, not take the first house we looked at, however; I have purchased three other homes since then. Now I'm going to share the knowledge that I've learned and give you some things (check lists) that you will need when making the decision whether to purchase or rent.

Topics That Will Be Discussed

Some topics will be grouped together as you can use them for either renting or buying. These list should help in making good decisions whether renting or purchasing a home.

Renting Topics:

  1. Checklist to check floors and other items
  2. Another checklist to use

Purchasing A Home Topics:

  1. Checklist to use while searching for a home
  2. Checklist for buying property

These checklist can be used for buying or renting a home.

  1. Checklist for the closet.
  2. Checklist about the condition of the garage.
  3. Tips to save energy to cut down on cost
  4. Inventory of each room of personal property for insurance purposes.

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A Check List On Renting Properties

Renting a home can have many benefits as having no property taxes, making repairs or the basic upkeep. But a persons needs to make sure when they rent that the landlord doesn't hold them reliable for repairs so that's why a checklist is important. The person needs to take a checklist with them and do a walk through with the landlord and both make comments and sign the paper together as this will show the condition of the home or apartment was in when rented. Might even considering taking some photo's if there seems to be a lot of repairs needed.

Checklist for rental property that you inspected:

  • No trash sitting around in any room / free of dust / place is clean
  • Closets / cabinets/ baseboards / windows ledges are all clean
  • Bedrooms are clean / bathrooms are clean
  • Any patio / fireplace / outside yard is all clean
  • All appliances need to be cleaned that is sanitized and washed and working
  • Door stoppers need to be clean and working / all doorknobs need washed before renting
  • All plugins / light switches need to be in working order no cracks / stained
  • Pilot lights should be turned on



Checklist For Renting

Interior
Exterior
Services
Room Sizes / Number of Rooms
Lawn / Yard / Flowers / Pool
Schools Nearby / How is School Ranked
How Many Bedrooms / Bathrooms
Maintance of Lawn Care / Pool
Doctors / Hospital / Churches Nearby
Air Condition / Heating / Pet Friendly
Is It Fenced / Condition / Parking
Emergency Services
Condition of Floors / Who's Responsible
Security / How Safe / Pool Safe
Markets / Stores/ Work / Distance within reason
This is a list to give an idea of what to check before making a decision

Home And Kitchen Space

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HomeKitchen Space
Home
Home
Kitchen Space
Kitchen Space

Rent Or Buy

Do you prefer to rent or buy

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Looking For A Home: Notes

Setting a guideline on the amount to spend is very important so that you are prepared on what you have to spend. Whether buying or renting you will need to have money to move with which can really add up quickly. Now a days cost can easy be any where from a few hundred or more to move depending if a moving company moves you or you do it yourself and save some money but more work.

Everyone involved with renting or buying a home should help with deciding. However children won't be involved with the money part but could help in voicing how they feel since it does involve them. This gives the children a sense of being important in family matters. Of course it depends on the age of the children and if the parents want to include them in such a big decision that will effect everyone.

Checklist: Renting / Buying

Before Renting / Buying
While Looking
Pre-Purchase
Set a budget limit
Check a variety of homes
Be pre-approved for loan
Type of area to live in best fit you
Transportant / amenties are important
List different properties seen likes/ dislikes
Concerns / risk factors
Check crime rate for area
Speak with realestate agents
Need also to check condition of homes
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Other Things To Check

This is more so if buying but if renting make sure you know who is responsible for repairs. If you are renting a home check the next table to see how to make a paper showing items with both parties making comments and signing. I would take pictures before renting before I moved my things in just in case they tried to hold me liable for damages. Pictures have the date on them which establishes a timeline.

  • Check for pipes leaking (look for areas that are wet such as bathroom tub, under sinks)
  • Floors should be checked underneath for proper ventilation
  • Most windows have double pane to help hold heat in and help keep cool when central air is on
  • Floors shouldn't squeak when walking across them / floor joist
  • Sagging / rotten weatherboards
  • Roof - sagging/ leaks/ gutters/ chimneys / flues / flashings
  • Mildew / mold
  • Garage for water damage from leaking
  • Eaves for weather damage
  • Check timber boards for rot / mildew / mould / borer / termites
  • Concrete for cracks / water penetration
  • Look for evidence of pest problems activities past / present
  • Check for structural damage caused by roots from trees
  • Foundations for cracks / water damage
  • Sheathing on top of floor joist with ring shank or screws (screws work better)

Walk Through

Rooms
Your Comments
Owners Comments
You Sign
Owner Signs
Date
Living Room
Baseboards need painting
Its okay
 
 
 
Bathroom
Leaks around sink
Will Fix
 
 
 
Bedroom / 2
1st bedroom paints chipping / 2nd bedroom door needs fixed
Okay no work needed
 
 
 
Kitchen
Needs wall cleaned
Fine the way it is
 
 
 
Example of a paper for when renting / you keep a copy and date it with all parties signing

Closets

Having enough space in the closet is very important. Many things are placed in a closet which can have many uses. Not only is clothes and shoes stored in a closet but extra bedding, supplies and such are kept in a closet.

Checklist:

  1. Space (how big is the closet)
  2. Room to store extra's
  3. Clean closets out every year and throw out items of no longer useful
  4. Use totes to store loose items
  5. Shelve space
  6. How many closets does the house / apartment have
  7. Label all boxes / keep items you rarely use up high
  8. Shoe racks can be hung on back of door to save space
  9. Make four separate boxes with labels: donate / mend / keep / throw out
  10. Sort things into a pile to give to friends / family which helps to save space

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Saving Energy / Going Green

Here is a few ideas to save energy which may save you some money. I've been doing some of these things and have noticed that my monthly bills are a little lower. For the last year I made a chart of all bills for utilities which showed each month what I've paid and so far this year I've had a decreased in cost of monthly bills. What I kept track of was the water / sewer, electric / gas bills and I switched to light bulbs that are designed to save energy plus you can use a lower watt and still have the effect of a 100 watt bulb. There are more ways to help a person save money.

Tip for saving energy / going green

  • Unplug any chargers, appliances, electronic devices that's not being used
  • When your not home turn off lights, appliances, heating, air conditioning
  • Put computer on sleep when not in use, shut computer down when your gone, screen saver will zapped your energy, use a LCD screen uses less energy
  • Collect rain water for watering flowers (I use a five gallon bucket for this after I cleaned it up)
  • Use energy efficient appliances / rechargeable batteries
  • Save water by decreasing shower time or take a bath
  • Use reusable bags and take to the store with you to use
  • Use public transportation when possible
  • A hybrid vehicle
  • Seal up all air leaks around home and in winter cover all windows with plastic to hold heat in
  • May want to replace furnace, air conditioner, hot water heater, appliances with a energy efficient models
  • Use a insulating blanket for your hot water heater if its in a cold area
  • May want to use dimmer switches for light ( I use a lamp in the living room at night since the TV gives off light)
  • May want to check into solar power, wind, hydropower, geothermal




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Inventory List

This is important as you may need to be able to let the insurance company know what valuable you have, and may also help in getting the correct quote on the cost of insurance. This needs to be kept in a safe deposit box or a fire proof safe. The insurance company will be able to quickly determine what you lost in a fire, or if things are stolen, what the actual value is. Another way is to photograph all items in each room labeling each picture and dating it. Keeping a list with pictures is the best way with the actual receipts. Some items will go up in value through the years so you may want it appraised each year.

  1. Start in one room and list each item
  2. Take a picture of each item
  3. Then go from room to room repeating the process
  4. Another item you may want to list is your clothing items.
  5. Detail each item, list price and if value has gone up, list it also or what it was appraised at and keep a copy of the appraisal

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