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Buying a Champaign-Urbana Home: What To Look For During Showings

When you head out to look at Champaign-Urbana homes with your real estate agent, the things you’ll likely pay the most attention to are the things on your “wants and needs list.” That list might include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the kitchen layout, whether the home has a garage or a basement, etc.

But there are less obvious features that are important, too, and will have an effect on how much you end up spending on the house in the long-term. When buying a Champaign-Urbana home, here are some things to look for during showings:

Is the home hooked up for cable?
Believe it or not, there are still older homes well within Champaign-Urbana city limits that don’t have cable hook-up. A local cable company can likely bring cable to your home, but it will be your expense to get it set up.

Are there sufficient outlets, and are they 2-prong or 3-prong?
If you’re looking at newer homes, this one won’t be an issue. But older Champaign-Urbana homes may or may not have an updated electrical system. Again, this is something that you can remedy after moving in, but it could be a major expense. Better to investigate it before rather than after making the purchase.

What kind of shape are the windows in?
Most everyone checks for the age of the furnace and a/c, roof, water heater, but often people don’t think to try out the windows. How old are they? Do all of the windows open and do the windows stay open or fall back down? Is there chipping paint, which could also be a lead paint concern?

How many trees are on the property and how close are they to the home?
Trees can provide shade and beauty, but can also be quite messy. If they’re close to the house, plan on cleaning out the gutters several times each year. You’ll also have to trim the trees on occasion, another expense. It’s not the end of the world, rather simply something to be aware of.

These are just a few examples that many people don’t think about when they’re buying a Champaign-Urbana home. A home inspector may take note of some or all of these items during the course of the general inspection and will certainly look at many other things in great detail. Still, a home buyer should do his or her own mini-investigation of the home as well during the showings, prior to making an offer.

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