Whenever you set your sights on moving to a new area, it’s wise to consult a local agent with specific knowledge of the features and potential pitfalls that might influence home prices and certain circumstances you want to avoid.
For example, if your dream has always been to live at the beach, and you’re coming from an Inland area, you might want an agent who has represented both buyers and sellers of beach houses.
My guess is that someone with this kind of experience can advise you about potential Moisture Invasion, the importance of ascertaining soil stability, public access to areas adjacent to your target property and any zoning restrictions that apply to any remodeling plans.
Similarly, if your plans include riding off into the sunset on horses housed on your property, you should track down an agent well versed in equestrian zoning, trail access, feed delivery, waste removal and potential limits to the number of horses per lot size.
On the flip side, if you are attracted to properties with large lots, you should also know what the adjacent owners are able to use their land for, in case you don’t like to hear Roosters or smell horse manure.
With a plethora of golf courses dotting in California, there are more than a few home options on or near the Fairway or the green. If you don’t play golf or if you’ve never lived on a golf course, you’d be well served to work with an agent with some experience in golf course homes.
These agents will now likely know how to figure out exactly where your potential new home is located in relation to the course. It’s one thing to be on a fairway, above the cart path, about where a decent player would be expected to lay up, and quite another to be on the tee box on the 18th hole.
It is also useful to look at the exterior of the house for “pockmarks” – now likely to be caused by errant shots.
Also, you might consider hiring a home inspector who can fly a drone. That way you will be able to see the condition of the solar panels – which may have received a few direct hits, which may contribute to a reduction in production.
In each of these cases, a careful review of the seller’s disclosures will also shed some light on any potential hazards you might not have had on your Radar. That, combined with your agent’s specific experience and expertise, a thorough home inspection, and a Pest inspection (and any other specialized inspection such as pool, roof, or Geological you may deem necessary) will help you understand aspects of your dream home that may not be so dreamy.
Leslie Sargent Eskildsen is an agent with RealtyOne Group West and a member of the California Association of Realtors’ board of directors. She can be reached at 949-678-3373 or email@example.com.