Doug Van EttenYOUR JOURNEY HOMEGrand Junction Free Press Real Estate Columnist

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March 7, 2012
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Local Real Estate Q&A

A: For starters, be sure you do not change your work situation before closing on the purchase of whatever house you buy. Along with making no job changes during your home search you also want to not: Buy a new truck; don't even buy a new computer. If you can help it, don't even change your rental location. Any changes you make that your mortgage company may see as a change in stability or financial status may adversely affect you qualifying for the loan you will be seeking. Now, I think your question was really about what to consider as far as the actual house is concerned. Since it sounds like you may be planning to work from home on your computer, you need to consider local internet speeds available and the electrical system in the house. Internet speeds can be learned by simply calling one or more internet providers. The electrical system is something you want to have at least a basic home inspector look at and evaluate for you; and, you may want to go as far as to have an electrician look over the system capacity and safety. You need not to do these evaluations on every home you consider but either before you and your Realtor write a purchase offer or at least during the home inspection process; you want to know whether the house, as you buy it, will support your home office needs; or, if you have to consider or plan for wiring-electrical system upgrades right away. Upgrades of this magnitude may affect how much you are willing to offer for the house or may prove to be a good bargaining chip in price negotiations with the seller.Other considerations for working at home may be the current lighting or capacity to improve the lighting after you own. Room configuration is another consideration to weigh into what you look for in homes. Does the one you like have adequate space now; will you need to change some wall or closet locations; are those load bearing walls? Many of these considerations can be evaluated by a home inspector or general contractor; or more specialized professional. If you are not a contractor yourself, do not count just on your emotions or the Realtor's opinion about changes as potentially large as having to upgrade the electrical system in a house built, say in 1915 and not remodeled since 1954.------------------------Doug Van Etten is a local Realtor with Keller Williams Colorado West Realty. He is also the organizer of the Real Estate Investors Network of Western Colorado (REIN). For information about buying or selling a home, investing in real estate or joining REIN, Van Etten can be contacted at 970-433-4312 or

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The Post Independent Updated Mar 7, 2012 09:34PM Published Mar 7, 2012 09:33PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.