If you have been looking at homes in Billings MT, you have probably seen the term ‘Move in Ready’.
Obviously, if you are looking at moving, you want a home that you can live in right away, unless of course you are building a new house. You don’t want to have to make a lot of changes, you don’t want to have to wait for various aspects of the home to be repaired, you want to move in and live there!
But, what does a move in ready home actually mean?
Move in ready is a term that gets thrown around often in the real estate market, but what it actually means can depend a great deal on who is talking and who is using the term. Move in ready can mean a pretty wide range of things to different people and you don’t want to buy a house that you think is move in ready and find out that it isn’t.
For some, move in ready means that everything in the house is freshly renovated and updated to not only reflect the newest styles and trends, but to also reflect the fact that things like appliances and window treatments are new and will have no problems or issues.
For others, move in ready may simply mean that all the appliance actually work, regardless of age! Some people may define move in ready as having all the paint colors in all the rooms redone to match tastes and/or current trends and it wouldn’t be move in ready if this type of work still needed to be done.
You can probably see that it is hard to exactly pinpoint what move in ready means because it depends a lot upon who is using the phrase.
To help with this, we have compiled some guidelines and definitions that will help you navigate what is really being said when you are searching for your next ‘move in ready’ home.
You should start by always taking ‘move in ready’ at face value. Just because a kitchen has been remodeled and the walls painted, does not mean that the home couldn’t possibly have structural damages for example.
Move in ready will generally take on a more cosmetic meaning than if will structural meaning so keep in mind that you will need to inspect aspects of the house other than what you can see with the naked eye.
Don’t forgo a home inspection just because you have been told that the home is move in ready and you can see the remodeling that has been done.
Be prepared to describe to your real estate agent what ‘move in ready’ means to you. Because definitions vary, be prepared to discuss what you expect in your new home. If you are looking at houses in an area where most of them are 20-30 years old, you can expect that they will need updating, and maybe some serious updating. Once appliances, particularly things like hot water heaters get to be of a certain age, they may need to be replaced at a drop of a hat.
The same goes for color schemes, particularly when it comes to carpet. Carpet that was laid in the mid 90’s is probably going to be sorely outdated when it comes to color. If those types of issues are important to you, you need to be sure and relay this fact to the agent that you are working with.
Different strokes for different folks, and this is especially true when it comes to houses and how up to date they are.
If you are really selective when it comes to finding a move in ready home in pristine condition, you may want to alter your search from looking at older, pre-owned homes, to new construction. This way you can either add your own preferences or simply have the house built to your tastes in the first place.
Many builders will offer homes, particularly in newer subdivisions, that are almost finished. This allows the potential buyer to finish off the home to suit their tastes instead of being stuck with whatever the builder decided on.
Timelines can be a concern in cases like this if you are under pressure to move by a certain date, but most builders in these cases want to make the sale and will work hard to accommodate you and your needs.
If you are in love with an area but yet having a hard time finding a home that you view as move in ready, you might have to consider lowering your expectations a bit and living with a little ‘ugly’ for a while. Sure, it is nice to move into a home with all new carpeting and freshly painted walls, but this is also stuff that can be done over time while you are living there, especially the painting.
It’s not the end of the world if the bathrooms are not all painted to suit your tastes, and it can be fun to work on some of these aspects yourself after you have purchased your home. It may be worth it to live in an area that is, for example, closer to your work, or close to your children’s school.
There are trade offs to everything (unless you have an unlimited supply of money) and you may need to decide what is more important to you and your family.
Overall, finding a place that is move in ready can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. You may have to remain somewhat flexible in what you are looking for and your definition of the term, and it may make financial sense to do so.
Remember, finding a perfect home is tough. Finding a home that you can live with that you and your family will be happy in is the main thing, and whether it is a move in ready home or not, you need to take all the factors into consideration before jumping in and making the purchase.