Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions a person can make. So many variables go into what to consider when buying a house.
What to Consider When Buying a House
It’s not just the house itself. Before you ever start the actual house hunt, you should be doing your homework and taking steps to make the process as smooth as possible.
From sign to sold, it’s a daunting and emotional journey. Make sure you find the right home for you with these top ten tips!
Find the Right Realtor
This one step alone can mean the difference between a good experience and a bad one.
Don’t just hire the first real estate agent you find on Google. Do your homework!
Does this person have a lot of good referrals? Do they have a ton of houses listed? How long have they been in the business?
Make sure you hire someone who comes highly recommended, knows the market and is knowledgeable on the random issues that can pop up during the buying process.
What Size House Do You Need?
Some people look at their budget and simply find the biggest house they can afford within that price range.
Don’t fall into the bigger is better trap. Look at exactly what you need, and find the house that fits.
How many people are in your family? Do you need extra rooms for guests or an office?
If you don’t really need a spare room, find a home that has space for what you do need – maybe more bathrooms or a bigger garage or yard. Find the home that suits your specific needs.
Location, Location, Location
They say it’s the most important part of finding the right home, and with good reason.
Not only do you have to live in the neighborhood and area you choose, if you choose to resell you want other people to want to live there too!
Look at the surrounding area. Are there noise issues like a railroad or airport or a busy street?
Are the neighboring homes in good shape? Do the people you’ll be living by take pride in their neighborhood?
Consider your lifestyle, too. How far will your commute be to and from work? Are there amenities like grocery stores and gas stations nearby?
Take it all into consideration, and start your house search by looking first at the areas that have everything you’d want in a location.
How Much Can You Afford?
Before you ever call a real estate agent, talk to a loan officer and get pre-approved for a home loan.
This will not only make putting an offer on a house easier, but it will also give you an idea of what you should be looking for.
Nothing is more devastating than finding the perfect home, only to find out you can’t afford it.
You should also decide ahead of time how much you want your monthly payment to be. Adding in utilities, insurance, and taxes, knowing ahead of time how much you want to pay means you won’t get in over your head if you get approved for more.
Schedule an Inspection
Don’t miss this important step!
A beautiful facade can hide a myriad of problems. A home inspector can uncover what could turn into big problems down the road.
A home inspection will cover systems like electrical and plumbing, all appliances, foundation and roof health, and structural components. With this information, you can make an informed decision about your future home.
To HOA or Not to HOA
There are pros and cons to Home Owner’s Associations.
All HOAs have different coverage levels, but most offer benefits like yard and road maintenance and access to common areas like pools and gyms.
If you don’t want to hassle with upkeep, an HOA is the way to go.
However, you will need to add the monthly HOA fee to your payment. You’ll also want to be aware of the rules – most have rules about what is allowed. Types of pets, fences, and yard decorations might be dictated, so make sure you know what your future neighborhood’s entail.
Will This House Still Fit in 5 Years?
On the flip side of buying too much house, make sure you think ahead!
Many people look only at their current situation and forget the long term. Do you plan on having kids? Have an elderly parent that may need to move in?
Do you plan to build other structures or put in a garden?
Whatever the case, look ahead and plan accordingly. Find a house that has the space to accommodate your dreams, should you still be living there.
Don’t Get Caught Up on Cosmetic Details
Most homeowners will splash up fresh paint and clean carpets when they list their house.
But underneath that pretty facelift, there could be issues. Beyond the inspection, look at the house itself.
Paint, flooring and design elements can be changed. Sometimes homes that have rougher exteriors have unique structural details and layouts to die for. If you’re willing to look past peeling paint or scuffed floors, you might find a dream home in disguise.
Conversely, a pretty paint job only goes so far. Don’t favor what looks nice at first glance – look at the bones of the home and its layout.
What Are Your Deal Breakers?
Make a list before you ever go house hunting.
Do you have a specific location in mind? A certain number of bedrooms or bathrooms?
Maybe it’s something unique, like a big yard or attached garage.
Knowing what you can’t live without helps you know what you can live with if it comes down to making a compromise.
Try Everything at Least Once!
Your home inspector should do this for you, but it’s better if you get hands on!
Try every light switch and plugin. Find the quirks, like the light switch in the basement that turns on an attic light.
Turn on faucets, open cupboards, and closets, and generally play with everything. You’ll discover little details like water pressure in your future shower and broken fixtures.
Finding these before you put an offer down lets you know exactly what you’re getting into. There won’t be any nasty surprises.
Knowing what to consider when buying a house is the first and best step you can take to making sure you find the right home for you.
When you’re ready to take the next steps, visit this website to start your journey home!