For some, purchasing a home where no repairs are needed is a welcome relief of anticipated stress. When shopping for a home the words they want to hear are Move in Ready. What does this mean for the home buyer? Oftentimes the terms move-in ready and turn-key home are used interchangeably. But are they the same? Let’s dive into what each term really means.
What is a move in ready home?
A move-in ready home is defined as the state of a house or property ready for immediate occupancy. In other words, the home can be lived in without any anticipated renovations or repairs. It’s structurally sound, functional and safe. Signs of pest infestation are not present. (Source: Blacks Law Dictionary)
What does a move-in ready home include?
To be considered move-in ready, there are specifications a home must meet.
- Flooring must show no signs of damage. Missing or broken tiles, buckled flooring or ripped carpet should not be present in a home that is move in ready.
- Operable locks on doors and windows. All windows and doors must lock from the inside. The windows and doors themselves must function properly as well.
- Walls and ceilings must be free of holes, water stains, mold, soft spots and other types of damage. Also no gaps between ceiling and walls or walls and floors should be present.
- When it comes to plumbing in the home, drains are expected to be clear with no blockage and water should run freely out the faucets.
- HVAC systems in the home must be in good working order. Refrigerant used in the cooling system should be at an acceptable level as determined by a HVAC professional.
- The home’s electrical system has been checked by an electrician and verified that it is up to code. Older homes that were built before the current code was in place are not necessarily a hazard. An electrician will be able to tell you if there are any dangers present.
- The kitchen must be functional. This means that the appliances, faucets, lighting and outlets must be in working order.
- The roof and exterior of the house must be in good condition and leak free.
What does a move-in ready home not include?
Contrary to popular belief, move in ready does not mean new or updated. Age is not a factor when determining if a home is move in ready.
The home may not come with an updated kitchen and bathroom or shiny new appliances. Rather, the appearance of the home may be outdated with appliances from 1990.
As long as everything is functioning properly and there is nothing that would prevent your ability to live safely in the home, it’s considered move-in ready.
What is a turn key home?
A turn key home is exactly as it sounds, turn the key and move in! Most turn key homes are in excellent condition and have been renovated and/or updated to fit current interior design trends. New construction homes are one example of a turn key home.
If the thought of painting or even making minor repairs fills you with dread a turn key property may be right for you.
Oftentimes you will pay a premium up front when buying a turn key home rather than paying for home improvements later down the road.
A recent survey by Porch.com found participants who bought turnkey houses said they spent an average of $250,496, while those who purchased fixer-uppers paid just $199,819. Seems like a big difference right?
But when you take into account the cost of renovations, fixer-upper buyers who stayed within their budget spent on average $246,891 in total. Those who went over budget — 44% of homebuyers — spent on average 38% more than expected, totaling on average $275,741.
That’s around $25,000 more than the average cost paid for a turnkey house.
Turn-Key homes are popular with some homebuyers who are on a strict budget and who may not have sufficient funds in savings to use towards repairs and home improvement projects.
Many investors do not have the time, ability or interest required to renovate a home. Passive income is their ultimate goal therefore many choose to purchase a turnkey home which allows them to place a tenant in the property and make a return on investment as quickly as possible.
Although distressed or foreclosed properties come at a cheaper cost initially. The cost of repairs, contractors and supplies add up quickly and it’s usually months before the home can be occupied by a tenant.
5 things about a move in ready home
- The home is habitable.
You can move in right away and live comfortably. From the plumbing to the stove, everything works. It’s a finished and functional home.
- It may or may not have cosmetic upgrades.
Maybe the walls are freshly painted, maybe the wallpaper is from 1984. Either way the walls are in good shape.
- No Structural Renovations Needed
The home is structurally safe and sound as it stands.
- A home you can grow into.
Take your time decorating and putting your personal touch on the home. Over time a little TLC will make a huge difference.
- Initially Less Expensive then Turn Key.
If you are able to budget properly for home improvements and stick with the budget you can come out ahead financially and have a home that is customized to your liking.
What type of home is right for you?
DIY/ Home Improvement Project
One of the benefits of purchasing a move-in ready home is that you can live there while still treating it as a blank canvas.
From the ceiling to the countertops, everything is customizable, the potential for endless DIY fun.
Even if you would rather not get into the nitty gritty and do the work yourself, you can hire a professional to perform all the changes you’d like to make. Or you may choose to not make any changes at all.
Move In Ready/ Turn Key
Would you rather purchase a home where you don’t have to think about things like paint colors or flooring.
Your home has recently been renovated and you know it’s generally cosmetically appealing. Everything from the fixtures to the faucets are modern and up to date.
Not interested in personal touches, clean and simple is more your style. If this sounds like you, then maybe the purchase of a turn key home will suit you better. You will pay more initially, but if home improvement projects are not in your future, (or budget) you may be better off in the long run.
If you find it difficult to decide, make a list of pros and cons of each type of home. Picture yourself in each one.
- What qualities do you like?
- Which ones could you live without?
- What would you change?
- Does thinking about changing things make you nervous?
- Do you want to put your personal touch on things or would you like all design decisions to be made for you?
There are so many different factors to consider when purchasing a home. Going through this thought process should help bring some clarity to what it is you really desire in your next home.
Getting ready to move
You’ve been thinking about what kind of home you’d like to purchase, maybe you’ve made a decision on which route to take.
Talk to one of our experts here at Bayou Mortgage about getting pre-approved for a mortgage.
Our experts will create a plan with you, providing stepping stones on the journey to homeownership.
You will discuss things like
- Employment history
- Moving timeline
Tips to Prepare for the Mortgage Application Process
- Keep track of your pay stubs. You will be asked to provide current pay-stubs when you apply for a mortgage. It helps to keep them handy.
- Same for bank statements. Download the past two months of bank statements from your online banking portal or save the ones that come in the mail.
- Locate all W-2’s from the past two years. After taxes are filed these are likely to get put in a cabinet somewhere. It’s a good idea to find them and have them ready to submit.
- Pay down credit card debt. Lowering your credit utilization is one way to boost your credit score. A higher credit score will help you secure a better interest rate for your mortgage.
- Save Up! Keep saving money to make sure you will be able to cover all expenses involved in purchasing a home. These could include home inspection fees and appraisal fees along with your down payment and closing costs.
Read: What documents are needed to purchase a home?
Most importantly, schedule a call with one of our home loan experts. We are here to answer all your questions, and coach you through the process of buying your first home.