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Home » Buying a home? Do this first.

Buying a home? Do this first.

May 31st, 2016 | Higgins Group Real Estate

In home buying, the devil is in the details. You may think you’ve inspected every nook and cranny of the home you want to buy, but with so many factors to consider, you may miss a few things.

Tips for First Time Buyers – Fairfield County CT

Before you sign on the dotted line, here are some tips on ensuring that your dream home really is as dreamy as it seems.

Check lot grade, house orientation, and lighting

It may be the right house on the right-sized lot, but have you considered the steepness of the lot and how the house is situated on it? Is the lot too steep for the easy rambles you want to make? Are you planning on extending your property in the future? Think about the advantages and disadvantages of the lot grade with your lifestyle and future plans in mind.

Then there’s the house’s orientation. Does it get ample natural light? Has it been placed in the best spot so that it maximizes the lot’s advantages? A properly oriented house is not only comfortable to live in, it’s also more energy efficient.

Drive by at different times of the day

You’ve done a lot of drive-bys during the day – but what about at night? What’s the street lighting like after hours? What about the noise levels? Drive by on a weekend and a weeknight, and try to do so at different times. You don’t want to end up with a home in a neighborhood that turns into party central just when you’re about to hit the sack.

Meet the neighbors (if you can)

Driving through your soon-to-be neighborhood isn’t enough; you’ll want to walk around as well. Try to chat up the residents you meet so you can get a better impression of the neighborhood. If it’s a more suburban or rural area, then you’ll probably won’t meet too many people meandering about, but then that may be exactly what you’re looking for. Whatever your preferences, taking time to take a walk in the neighborhood will give you a better idea about its overall feel.

Research zoning and town ordinances

In order to avoid future headaches down the line, find out your neighborhood’s zoning laws. Is it near a commercial zone? Then that peaceful wooded area near your house may morph into shops and restaurants in the future. Good news for some, not so much for others. If the house is in a designated historic district, find out what you can and can’t do in terms of renovation and whether or not you can live with the restrictions.

Got a potbellied pig or any other unusual pet? Thinking of raising chickens in a backyard coop? Have a gander at municipality ordinances.

Get social

There’s a good chance that the folks living in your potential new neighborhood are connected online. Make use of apps like Nextdoor, see if there are local Facebook groups you can join, and post questions on sites like,,, and to find out what issues residents typically deal with.

Want more tips on the home-buying process? Check out

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