Type to search

Thinking of Moving? Add these safety tips to your home search criteria!


By Wendy Oleksiak, Vice-President, Compass Realty

So much goes into finding a new home or living situation that meets the needs of your next chapter. Typically, price is at the top of the wish list, along with proximity to friends and family. In this month’s column, you will find additional items to take into consideration.

Lighting: How well-lit are the interior spaces? Do rooms have overhead lighting or will you need to install new lighting and purchase additional lamps? How well-lit is the parking area or parking garage? If you are moving into a multi-unit building, how well-lit are the hallways, stairwells and elevator areas?

Railings: Are there railings on all stair areas?

Bathroom Safety: Are there grab bars in the shower, outside of the shower and next to the toilet? Will you be required to step over a tub wall to enter the shower? Is there a possibility, and what would the cost be to install a walk-in shower with a seat?

Garages are key to easing the challenges of our New England winters. If possible, try to find a home that has an attached garage. Ideally, there will be an entry directly from the garage into the house. This will allow for a safe and easy transfer of groceries and less contact with slippery ice patches on stairs and walkways.

If you will be living in a multi-unit building, is there a designated parking spot and is it legally deeded to you as part of the purchase? If you will be taking an elevator, where is the elevator located in proximity to your parking space? How far away is the elevator from your living quarters?

Snow Management: If you are buying a single-family home, think ahead about how much driveway there is to plow. Is there a steep driveway that would be a challenge for a snowplow company to handle? Will you need a SUV type car with 4-wheel drive that can handle the grade of the driveway? If you are moving into a townhouse development, does the homeowner’s association cover both plowing and shoveling? Will they include your walkway or will you be expected to pay an additional fee?

Trash: If you are moving into a multi-unit building, check the location of the dumpster that is assigned to your building. Do they have a recycle bin? If you are moving into a single-family home, is there trash pickup as part of the town service or do you need to hire an independent service?

Pets: If you have pets, make sure your Realtor understands what type of pet you have before you fall in love with a property. Certain dog breeds and larger sized dogs can limit your housing options when shopping for a condominium or multi-unit managed property. Some developments do not allow any pets. Are there vets, boarding kennels and other pet services in your town of choice? Our pets are valued family members and an important consideration.

Numbers on front of house: When you move into your new home, make sure that there are clear numbers on both your house and mailbox. Massachusetts requires the fire department to check for numbers on the house when they do the smoke detector inspection. Make sure that an emergency provider can easily identify your home.

Security system for house and self: Home security systems are becoming more and more common in single family homes. There are multiple options that can monitor both the perimeter of the home or designated zones. Systems can be easily tailored to your needs. A personal emergency alert system should also be considered. Having a wristband or necklace with a button to press for help, if needed, can be very comforting.

Generator: We do tend to have a few power outages every year, due to wind, downed electrical lines, or snowstorms. Generators are becoming an amenity that buyers are hoping for. Have your Realtor check if there is a hookup for a generator, or a full-house generator system in place. If not, an electrician can provide an estimate and installation. If you are moving into a multi-unit building, does it have a generator?

Safety: Once you identify a property or area of town where you’d like live, pick up the phone or stop in at the local police station to ask about crime rates and history of incidents.

Public transportation options: Is there a train station, bus service or senior center transportation available?

Drug store/grocery store home delivery: After experiencing the Covid pandemic, we are keenly aware of our comfort level related to going into grocery and drugstores. Are their local services that provide delivery?

Floor type slippery tile: Check tile and vinyl flooring for grip, both in single family homes, as well as multi-unit buildings.

Where will you be doing laundry? If the hookups are in the basement, that will likely be hazardous and inconvenient. Is there an easy relocation spot within the home? In a multi-unit building, look for in-unit laundry options.

I bring my training as a Registered Nurse to my real estate practice, with an eye out for both the safety and happiness of my clients. I take pride in ensuring that your best interest is my number one priority. It is possible to find a home that checks off all of the boxes. The earlier that you begin your search, the more likely it will be to find a new home that meets all of your needs. Please feel free to call or email me with any questions. I work in all towns on the South Shore and in the Boston Metro area. It would be my pleasure to help you or a loved one with their next chapter!

About the Author: Honesty, hard work and professionalism paved the road to Wendy becoming a top selling agent. Her extensive network within the real estate community provides her clients with the competitive advantage and outstanding results. She strives to offer the most personalized, sophisticated and confidential real estate support available. Wendy utilizes the most innovative tools to elevate and create far reaching marketing campaigns for her exclusive properties. As a former Registered Nurse, Wendy understands the importance of trust and ac- countability in creating a successful partner-

ship. You can count on clear communication, efficiency, and integrity when you work with Wendy. You can reach Wendy at 781-267- 0400 or email: Wendy.Oleksiak@Compass. com website: WendyOleksiak.com.

“It would be my pleasure to send you my free moving guide complete with timelines and lists to help organize your move. Please reach out by phone, 781-267-0400, or email, wendy.oleksiak@compass.com.”∞