Posted by: Sheree R. Curry | June 11, 2009

2 Often-Overlooked Upgrades Home Buyers Should Put on Their Checklists

There are a lot of things people consider when helping them make their home purchasing decisions, from quality of the siding to whether it has a finished basement.

This home has a very large finished basement with 5th bedroom, bath, bonus room and fireplace.

Many home buyers look for finished basements: This home for sale has a very large finished basement with 5th bedroom, 3/4 bath, bonus room, rec area, 2nd family room, brick fireplace and lots of closets — and it's a walk-out!

I know a woman who once had her new potential home narrowed to her Top 3 choices, all within a few blocks of each other. The best house of the three lost her interests because on a tour of the home she saw a pan of burnt, crusty brownies on the counter and she just couldn’t get the image out of her head.

Our decisions for why we choose or don’t choose a home can boil down to personal tastes or good research.

Overlooked Upgrades
There are a few things, however, that some home buyers often forget to put on their checklists, or think they can live without. Here are two of them that you really should consider:

This home for sale at 18148 87th Pl N, Maple Grove has 1. In-Ground Water Sprinklers, 2. An Owned Water Softener

This home for sale at 18148 87th Pl N, Maple Grove has two things some home buyers forget to consider: 1. In-Ground Water Sprinklers, 2. An Owned Water Softener

1. In-ground sprinklers. Having a garden hose to give a little extra drink to our flower beds on those hot, dry summer days is a must. But when it’s time to water the whole lawn and your choice is setting the timer on your in-ground system or detangling and dragging a hose several times a week, well, you’d opt for the in-ground system every time.

A pre-existing in-ground sprinkler system will save you time and money in the long run. It can cost upwards of $2,000 to have a system professionally installed, and without one you’re liable to waste water on your driveway because you just couldn’t get that darn portable sprinkler to cover only the area you needed.

2. Water softener-Owned. In many parts of the country, such as Minnesota, the calcium and magnesium levels in water are high enough to make the water “hard” — a telltale sign are the white scaly deposits in your shower and numerous spots on your clean glassware. A water softener removes those minerals and helps keep your pipes clear of deposits!

Most homes for sale in areas that need water softeners specify on their MLS listing sheets whether or not there is a water softener and if it is rented or owned. Check there to see what you’re getting. If you purchase a home with an “owned” softener, you’ll be sure to save quite a bit of money over needing to rent one or purchase your own — and your wine glasses will be spot free!


  1. Very interesting and informative. Thanks

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