Homework for Homebuyers:
As an added precaution, do a double-check of the services available to the
property you are considering. Ask specific questions of the proper authorities and accept
only specified answers.
Day-Care, Preschool: Where are nearby day-care and preschool facilities? What types of
programs do they offer? Will there be a place for your child? Which days and what times
are available? What are the costs?
Public Transportation: Is a bus or some other public transportation available? Where are
bus stops located? How frequent is the service? Obtain a transportation map so you can
determine the routes you may be using.
Recreational Facilities: Will you be allowed to use recreational facilities in the area?
Is your new home in a public or private recreation district? Are special memberships
required? Where are parks located and what facilities do they have? Are the parks used by
recreation organizations on specific days? Who takes care of park maintenance and
Hospital and Medical Services: Where is the nearest hospital? Are emergency medical
Police and Fire Protection: How available are police, fire and emergency services? Is the
protection adequate? Will your home be protected by a neighborhood watch program? Does the
area have access to a 911 or other emergency telephone number?
Television Reception: Is TV reception adequate? Is cable TV available for those who want
Are there restrictions on antennae? Can you have your own satellite dish?
Telephone Service: Will telephone service be available as soon as you move in? Will a
private line be available? What other telephone services are available?
Postal Service: Will mail be delivered to the front porch, to the front curb or to
community mailboxes at the end of the road? Will mail be delivered daily? Where is the
nearest facility to mail packages, buy stamps, etc.?
Trash Collection: Is a commercial garbage collection service available. Or will you have
to haul and dispose of your own trash? If dumpsters are provided, where are they located?
Street Maintenance and Parking: Are the roads properly maintained? Will it be your
responsibility to maintain any part of the roads? What are the parking restrictions,
weekdays, weekends and in emergencies? Can you park directly in front of your home?
Water and Sewer: Are water and sewer facilities adequate? Are there water restrictions?
Property Taxes: What are the property taxes now and what are they expected to be? Is a
general tax increase expected?
Special Assessments: Are special assessments anticipated? These could be made for any
number of reasons - paving projects, water and/or sewer improvements, drainage
improvements, schools, parks, sidewalks. Are you expected to pay for special assessments
approved or anticipated?
Zoning Changes and New Construction: Have there been any recent zoning changes? Are zoning
changes anticipated? Is new construction planned that will change the appearance of or the
traffic flow through the neighborhood?
This Homebuyers Tip was excerpted from:
How to Buy Your Home and Do It Right, by Susan E. Beck, Dearborn
Financial Publishing, Inc., 1993