At CityStructure, our vision is a world where every homeowner has a clear understanding of the development potential of their property. This is why we give you free access to the Untapped Development Potential for any property.

This article focuses on the five most important factors to consider when buying an existing home. These five factors ensure that you buy the right house, free of any illegal things or major issues that would make it a risky investment. It also offers you an idea of adding improvements within your budget to raise the house's real estate value and help you turn it into your dream home.

When you begin searching for family homes, the very first thing you'll notice is that there are a lot of individuals with different opinions. The home buying process is complicated and time-consuming. It's possible to go off track if you begin to consider everyone's viewpoint. It's critical to disregard everyone but those who offer sound advice.  Family and acquaintances who have only purchased one house or build a house once in their lifespan are unlikely to be aware of all the crucial aspects of today's process of buying a house.

People who've been in the real estate companies, home renovation business, or title industries quite a long time are likely to know more about the home buying process, so pay attention to them. When choosing a Realtor, look for someone who has a long track record of successful buyer representation and solid references from others in the area.

(1) Existing building condition (inspection)

Inspection information is one of the most important factors that should always be included in the home buyer's guide. A house inspection is more than a formality. It can reveal major issues regarding a house, such as structural concerns, rot, mold, pest problems, roof damage, poor insulation, outdated wiring, and more. Before you decide to look for new houses, you must be aware of these issues. The excellent thing is that a defect frequently results in a better offer means a reduced real estate value. Plus, it also comes with the condition that the home seller must pay to fix that defect before you purchase it.

(2) Possible illegal improvements done at the property

Purchasing a single-family home or multi-family home with improvements without permits might have serious consequences. Buying a property with unpermitted renovations is very often a terrible decision. You have no reassurance that the improvement without a permit was executed following safety and dependability standards.  Insurance providers will also deny paying if the project at fault had been completed without authorization, which verifies that it was completed according to law. Unpermitted work may also hinder you from obtaining a sound title, preventing you from receiving a mortgage. If you buy a house that had unpermitted work done to it, you may have trouble selling it. For houses with unpermitted improvements, sellers normally have to reduce the real state value because after the buyer gets possession of the property, they are accountable for any complications that may occur. Ensure you know and are ready to bear the consequences before owning a house with a shady permit history.

(3) Possibilities to expand or make additions to the house

A home improvement is a significant investment. If finished perfectly, it can significantly increase the real estate value of your house while also providing functionality, space, and elegance. A new house development can be little or huge, extend outward or upward, and increase available space both inside and out. First, determine whether there is enough space on the house or property to add more improvements. The CityStructure report could assist you by displaying the maximum lot coverage region as well as the additional Gross Floor Areas. Once you have discovered that magic area where you can expand or make additions to your house, remember the following points:

  • Find out if you could integrate any functional spaces in that magic area.
  • It's important to note that a Zoning Certificate is required for expansions of 600 square feet, 15% of lot area or less. Just remember to keep within the zoning restrictions.
  • According to the Zoning District, the planned addition's average height cannot exceed more than 14 – 16 feet.
  • Limit the demolition region to less than 50% of an existing roof or exterior wall framework.
  • The improvement or new addition must be at least three feet apart from the lot's existing structures.

(4) Budget to make those improvements

Budgeting might be a difficult procedure once you've decided that you need to make improvements. You will have to first decide how you are going to pay for the new house development. You are likely to make better choices on improvement features after you make the budget amount you choose to invest in improvements.

Improvements should be specified in detail to the contractor working on those improvements for your home. Get at least 3 contractor references from people you trust, such as relatives, neighbors, friends, and other professionals. Request an accurate quote from each based on the project specifications and particular product choices. To identify the best contractor, follow these steps:

  • Inquire about their most recent work.
  • References should be checked.
  • Search at web pages that give peer reviews about contractors and their work.

Of course, the expense of improvements to an existing house can vary greatly depending on the type of improvements you want to make, the design and size, as well as the value of land, labor, and materials within your area. Try to fit everything into your budget.

(5) The new value on the market of the property with the new improvements

Your house is most likely your largest investment. You owe it to make improvements that would raise its worth and also increase your comfort. After you've decided on the changes, you want to make and how much you want to spend on them, make sure they add value to your home and enhance its real estate value enough to cover the cost of the improvements while also allowing you to profit in the future if you decide to sell it. Also, make legal improvements, so you don't find yourself in a position where you have to put your home's value at risk.


When purchasing an existing home, keep all of these factors in mind. These tips will not only assist you in finding a home that meets your needs while also being financially viable, but they will also assist you in making a profit if you decide to sell it in the future.

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