What Does Move-In Ready Really Mean?

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When home buying, a term you may often see is move-in ready, but what does it really mean? At a minimum, a home termed move-in ready should be livable without any repairs. A potential home buyer should not have a to-do list before they move in. However, some home buyers incorrectly assume that move-in ready means updated or new, when in reality, the term can be used to describe a property in almost any condition, from extremely dated to completely renovated. What can you expect from a move-in ready home? Take a look.

Electrical and plumbing.
In a move-in ready home, all of the electrical work needs to be up-to-date, including modern outlets and switches. The plumbing should also be in good condition with working fixtures and faucets and no leaks.

Roof, windows and siding.
The roof should be in good condition and have plenty of life left in it. An old roof may not be leaking today but could at any time, and that would not deem it move-in ready. Also, siding and windows should be in good shape with nothing warped, damaged or rotting.

Heating and cooling systems.
A home is not move-in ready if the water heater, furnace and HVAC system will need replacing in a few years. These systems should be in proper working condition, and life the roof, have a substantial life span remaining.

Kitchen.
Although new appliances and marble countertops are nice, they are not requirements for move-in ready, but functionality is. Working appliances and functioning faucets, lighting and outlets are what are important here. Although cosmetic enhancements might turn a potential buyer off, they do not prevent someone from moving in.

Bathrooms.
Bathrooms must be clean with working plumbing and unclogged drains to be termed move-in ready. Things such as low water pressure or a toilet that doesn’t flush properly would not be acceptable.

Flooring.
As long as floors are clean and free or warping or buckling, they are found move-in ready. Carpeting should be clean and free of dirt or damage.

Paint.
Walls do not need to be freshly painted but do need to be free from scuffs and chips. Ideally, paint color should be neutral, but a hot pink wall will not prevent a buyer from moving in.

Remember, if the wallpaper gives you nightmares, it doesn’t mean the home isn’t move-in ready. Unless you are building a custom home, rarely will a home come exactly as you want it. Move-in ready simply means exactly what it says…it can be moved in to; it does not mean the home is perfectly decorated to suit your tastes with hardwoods, fresh paint and major upgrades. Be realistic when you see the term and if you have additional questions, give me a call!

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