Moving is hard enough and you may want to spare yourself the headaches associated with a fixer-upper by buying a turnkey property. If you can afford the potentially higher price tag of a newer model, it could be the way to go. It’s always nice to come home to a house where you’re not constantly thinking about all the improvement projects that need to be done before you can be happy with the living environment. On the financing front, a major advantage of opting for move-in ready condition is that there’s less red tape. These deals are more straightforward and can usually close faster and with fewer bumps, which is ideal for anyone relocating or with little time.

When looking at move-in ready homes, you’ll want to pay particular attention to the craftsmanship and make sure that the house has “good bones.”

If you’re buying a new construction home, do some research on the developer to ensure that he or she has a solid reputation. Again, quality is key. Many people dream of buying a brand new home and enjoying all of the perks, including on-trend designs, technology and energy efficiencies. Although you will likely pay a premium for the property in comparison to older homes in the neighborhood, you shouldn’t have to budget much for maintenance for years to come. Just make sure that you get a list of warranties from the seller for all of the systems and appliances.

If you’re touring properties that are not brand new, you’ll want to find out the age of some of the big ticket items like the heating system, roof, siding, windows, electric and plumbing so that you can budget and plan accordingly. It can be easy to get distracted by finishes, like countertops, new tile and fresh paint. It’s important to train your eye and look beyond the flashy coverings to make sure that you are really getting what you think you are. There’s nothing worse than purchasing a home that you think is completely turnkey only to realize that the previous owners cut corners on their renovations.

Ultimately, whether you’re buying a house that needs to be totally gutted or a place where you don’t need to lift a finger, you should set realistic expectations about what you can (and want to) accomplish based on your time and budgetary constraints.

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