What to Expect from a Home That's Move-In Ready

by Flavin & Flavin Realty, Inc. 10/08/2021

If you’re searching for a new home, it’s important to be aware of the different terminology used for property conditions. Knowing the details of a property can help you avoid extra costs and frustration after purchase. “Move-in ready” is one term you will probably encounter in the housing market. Here is an explanation of what “move-in ready” actually means so you know what to expect:

Major Systems Are Up to Date

A home that’s designated “move-in ready” has all of its major systems in good working order. Electrical work should be up to date and include safe and functional wall outlets. Plumbing might not be modern, but it is trustworthy and has a reasonable amount of lifespan remaining.

You can expect the roof and windows to be in solid condition even if not recently replaced. A move-in ready house should have a roof with at least several decades of workable lifespan left. Windows should not leak air or moisture but might still require upgrades to more efficient versions.

Functional, Not Pristine

One key to understanding what “move-in ready” really means is to know that the home will be functional but not perfect. Kitchens, for example, are not required to have modern appliances or sparkling new countertops to be “move-in ready.” Bathrooms are similar in that the fixtures should be clean and all the drains should be unclogged. However, the fixtures and cosmetic elements of the bathroom might still look dated and need an upgrade. As long as they are functioning normally for regular use, it’s “move-in ready.”

You Might Need to Paint

The aesthetic of a home can be enough to make or break a decision. However, it’s important to know that many cosmetic features—both interior and exterior—are considered move-in ready regardless of personal taste. For example, rooms with boldly painted walls, wallpaper or paneling might not be ideal from an aesthetic standpoint, but these features will not prevent you from moving in to the home.

Keep in mind that once you buy a home, you can make whatever design decisions you wish. If the move-in ready house you’re planning to buy has an unpleasant paint color or dated paneling, you may simply need to make those changes priority.