Move-In Ready indicates that the home is in a suitable condition to live in and doesn’t require any major repairs before you can start living in the property. While the exact definition may vary depending on who is listing the property, it indicates that no major renovations are required before you can inhabit the home, and it currently meets the necessary building codes. It’s meant to differentiate it from fixer-uppers or homes requiring additional work before being comfortably lived in.
- Running Water and Working Plumbing
- Up-to-Date Electrical Work
- Functioning Roof and Exterior
- Appliances Included and Working
- HVAC is Operational
- No Issues with the Flooring or Walls
- Windows and Doors are Usable and Properly Sealed
1. Running Water and Working Plumbing
Move-in ready homes must have running water and functional plumbing. You can’t reasonably live in a house with no bathroom or clean drinking water, so the property will have pipes and drains that are usable and clear of any blockages, and there must be water running through the faucet that is free of contaminants.
2. Up-to-Date Electrical Work
For a home to be considered move-in ready, it must adhere to the National Electric Code, which means that all major areas in the house must have working electrical outlets, including the kitchen, bedrooms, living areas, family rooms, etc. The electrical work must also meet the necessary safety conditions, as in there can’t be any exposed wires, and must be spaced out according to the standard protocols.
3. Functioning Roof and Exterior
Move-in ready doesn’t only apply to the interior but also the roof and siding. The roof must be structurally sound without leaks, loose shingles, or other major issues. The siding must also be in good condition and free from warping, rotting, or other noticeable problems.
4. Appliances Included and Working
Move-in ready homes must have functional appliances, although they don’t necessarily have to be the most cutting-edge model available. The home must have a refrigerator, freezer, stove, and possibly a dishwasher or laundry machine. They don’t have to be stainless steel or brand new, but they should be functional and have a decent life left.
5. HVAC is Operational
The heating and cooling systems also must be operational and up to date in a move-in ready home. That means all the systems should be in proper working order and feature functional fan belts, clean vents, and new filters.
6. No Issues with the Flooring or Walls
The flooring and walls should also be in acceptable condition in a move-in-ready home. That means they should be level and not show noticeable dents, holes, scratches, or warping beyond normal wear and tear. The house doesn’t have to have a brand-new paint job to be considered move-in ready, but it should not feature any noticeable marks or imperfections and should be a neutral color.
7. Windows and Doors are Usable and Properly Sealed
The home must also have working doors and windows to be considered move-in ready, which also means they should be properly sealed to prevent drafts or bad weather from getting in. They should also feature functional locking mechanisms for security purposes.
- Fewer Out-of-pocket expenditures
- What You See is What You Get
- Avoid Wasting Time
- Less Stress
- Attractive Features
1. Fewer Out-of-pocket expenditures
When you buy a move-in ready home, you won’t have to budget for any additional expenditures. While you will still have to save to pay the costs of owning and maintaining the home, you won’t have to sink any more money into the property to get it to a livable condition. This can save you a lot of money and avoid repairs and upgrades that may be more expensive than you initially anticipated.
2. What You See is What You Get
There is less guesswork when you buy a move-in ready home. You know exactly what you’re getting and can view it and do a final walkthrough to ensure it’s up to your standards before you sign the contract. So, there are no unexpected surprises after you’ve already purchased the property.
3. Avoid Wasting Time
As the name implies, with a move-in ready home, you can move in as soon as you close on the sale and pick up the keys. You won’t have to wait for weeks or months to finish any renovations, which may be crucial if you’ve already sold your previous residence.
4. Less Stress
The homebuying process is already stressful enough. The last thing you’ll want to deal with after closing on the sale is costly renovations that may bring unexpected delays and expenses. Move-in ready homes offer a less stressful experience because everything is in working order and ready to be lived in as soon as you sign the paperwork.
5. Attractive Features
Move-in ready homes are marketed directly to homebuyers, which means they often offer attractive features meant to generate interest, such as stainless-steel appliances, granite or marble countertops, modern fixtures, open-concept living areas, etc. While a home doesn’t require these additional characteristics to be considered move-in ready, they tend to offer more attractive benefits compared to fixer-uppers.
The terms turnkey and move-in ready are often used interchangeably but mean slightly different things. Turnkey is a term used to market a home to investors or luxury buyers looking for homes that can be purchased or rented and lived in immediately. Turnkey properties are often newly renovated and may even feature furnishing or high-end artwork and require no additional expenses or upgrades.
Move-in ready means the home is safe to move in and doesn’t require any major renovations to be lived in. But it may require slight cosmetic upgrades or minor improvements before it can be considered turnkey. As a result, turnkey properties tend to be more expensive and high-end and marketed toward investors and second-home buyers rather than average home shoppers.
Move-in-ready homes offer a wide variety of benefits to homeowners, especially those looking for a primary residence they can occupy immediately. However, they also tend to be more expensive than fixer-uppers and don’t offer as much opportunity for customization. So, keep that in mind when looking for a home.