For Home Buyers And Renters
Picking A Future
This is what you’re doing when you choose a house or an apartment: you’re picking a future.
This decision is one of the most important ones a person can make and it’s not about the location or the views or the design of the kitchen.
It’s about the future – and what you see in it.
A house or an apartment can affect many areas of your life and can push your life in one direction or another. More time or less time. Lower bills or higher bills. Better sleep or worse sleep.
So take some time to think about the number of ways this choice can affect your future and what you can expect from the future in each house or apartment. The differences will surprise you.
Architects can be an important ally in this decision.
In order to make the most of your conversation with them—and make the best decision possible—ask them to walk through our “5 Ways To Look At A House” book with you and talk over the issues discussed there. That conversation will significantly increase your ability to evaluate a house and will answer a number of questions that often come up when people are thinking about buying or building a house.
There are big differences between houses and the futures they deliver to the people who live in them. It’s important to know what these differences are before you buy a house. It will help you avoid certain costly mistakes.
The information in “5 Ways To Look At A House” will help you learn as much as possible about what it is that you’re buying and it will take some of the uncertainty out of the buying process.
If an architect or builder did not have this conversation with you, or if you’d like a referral to a qualified architect, we’d be happy to help you.
For a donation of $100 we will send you information that will help you with this decision and connect you to a qualified architect. We know a number of brilliant architects around the country, people who will be an ally in this important decision, and we can refer you to one.
Know What It Is You’re Buying
The first principle when buying a house is to know what it is that you’re buying.
That may sound obvious but it isn’t easy to do. Why? Because seller usually knows a lot more about the house than the buyer and certain information is withheld from the buyer. The safety of the building materials. How the walls were built. The quality of the systems in the house. How much time will pass before the house needs a major new repair. How susceptible the house is to leaks or mold.
Every day sellers pass the costs of these defects and liabilities on to the home buyer without the home buyer being aware of it. How can you make the best decision possible if you’re not given important information about the house?
Every day more and more people are using checklists for big decisions, the decisions too important to get wrong.
Even surgeons who have done a particular procedure hundreds of times still use a checklist so they don’t miss anything.
Experts use checklists to avoid mistakes that are easy to make and it’s far too easy to overlook things that can be hugely important to us when we’re living in a house.
Take a step back and, before you allow yourself to come to any conclusion, go through a checklist. If we can only recommend one thing to you as you go through this process, this is what we would advise you to do.
Renters routinely pay for the decisions of the person who built the apartment building. The renters shoulder the costs of these decisions.
One way to avoid shouldering the costs of someone else’s bad decisions is to choose apartments where the owner pays for all energy costs. This will keep you from paying for someone else’s mistakes.
Another thing the renter can do is check is the temperature of the windowsills of the apartment. Are the windowsills colder (if it’s winter) or hotter (if it’s summer) than the interior walls of the apartment? If there’s a large difference in temperature between the interior walls and the windowsills, this is an indication of a poorly made building — and one that can negatively affect a tenant’s life in a number of ways.
We’ll have more resources available for renters in the near future.