What "Move-In Ready" Really Means, and Whether a Move-In Home is Right For You

What "Move-In Ready" Really Means, and Whether a Move-In Home is Right For You

When on the house hunt, you've likely come across the term “move-in ready.” But what does it mean, exactly? A move-in ready home is a house or property primed for new owners to move in without significant work or repairs. Simply put, a move-in ready home means you can unpack your bags and start living without worrying about repairs, renovations, or even minor cosmetic updates.

Pros and cons of move-in ready homes

Before you decide if a move-in ready home is the right choice for you, let's take a look at the pros and cons to give you a clearer picture:


Save money

Move-in ready homes are generally more affordable than custom homes. Plus, with modern features and appliances, you'll save on maintenance and utility costs.

Save time

Perfect for those with tight schedules or who prefer minimal involvement, move-in-ready homes allow you to move in without delays.

Less stress

Moving is already challenging, but choosing a move-in-ready home means fewer worries about construction or renovations.

Know what you're getting

Tour your new home before buying, ensuring it meets your needs and preferences.

Attractive to buyers

Designed to appeal to many buyers, move-in ready homes are easier to sell in the future, making them a good investment.


Limited design choices

You'll have little input on the design elements of a move-in ready home, which could be a downside if customization is essential to you.

Location constraints

The location of a move-in ready home is predetermined, so you won't have the flexibility to choose your dream spot.

Similar homes nearby

If uniqueness is crucial to you, be aware that move-in ready homes are often built in neighbourhoods with similar properties.

High demand

The housing market is competitive, and move-in ready homes can sell quickly, which may be challenging if you need extra time to sell your current house.

Exploring the definition of a move-in ready home

A move-in ready home is just what it sounds like — a house ready for immediate occupancy. It's a property where all the essential features are functional, and there's no need for immediate renovations or repairs. These homes typically adhere to local code requirements and are generally considered safe and habitable. From working plumbing to functioning heating and cooling systems, a move-in-ready home should have it all.

Understanding what move-in ready does not entail

However, it's important to remember what move-in ready doesn't mean. It doesn't mean the house is brand new or just renovated. Nor does it mean that every feature and finish will be to the buyer's taste. For instance, the home may have carpeting when the buyer prefers hardwood floors. While the house is completely livable, it might not match everyone's dream home vision.

Characteristic features of a move-in ready home

Ensuring proper plumbing and piping

Move-in ready homes should have working plumbing and pipes. The faucets should be leak-free, the toilets should flush without issues, and there should be no concerns with water damage.

The need for up-to-date electrical outlets and wiring

Modern electrical outlets and wiring are key features of a move-in ready home. Outdated electrical systems can pose safety hazards and will need updating to meet local code requirements.

The importance of a leak-proof roof and sound exterior

A move-in-ready home should have a sturdy, leak-proof roof and exterior. The walls and siding should be in good condition, free of significant damage or cracks.

Inclusion of major appliances

Major appliances like a refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher are typically included in a move-in ready home. These appliances should be in good working order.

Undamaged flooring and walls

The flooring and walls in a move-in ready home should be undamaged. Whether carpet, tile, or hardwood floors, they should be free of significant wear and tear.

Functional windows and door locks

Windows should open and close easily, and door locks should operate as expected. Any problems with these features can be a safety issue.

The essentiality of tuned-up heating and cooling systems

Heating and cooling systems in a move-in ready home should be tuned up and ready to go. These systems are essential for maintaining comfort in the home.

The bottom line: The home is habitable

In essence, a move-in ready home should be habitable the moment you get the keys. You won't need to spend extra time or money on essential repairs or replacements before settling in.

About The McKelvie Group

The McKelvie Group, a team of seasoned real estate professionals, is committed to providing guidance and support to clients looking to navigate the complex world of real estate. If you're looking to buy or sell a home or have questions about the Alberta real estate market, contact our top Calgary real estate agents at The McKelvie Group today.

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