What to Think About When Buying a Home
Are you on the lookout for a new home? The process of buying a house can be very complex, with many factors involved. What are the most important aspects to consider to come to the right conclusion?
Let’s take a look at some critical things to consider when buying a home. Following sound home buying advice will put you in the best position to be happy with your decision for years to come.
What You Need in a Home
Before you get started looking for a new home, you need to decide what’s essential for you. Think about the size of the lot, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and the layout you prefer.
Be sure to consider what you require right now as well as what you expect to need during the time you expect to stay in the house. Your needs may change significantly over the years if you plan to grow your family or if your children are nearly grown and almost moving out.
Most buyers look for a location that’s close to work as well as any schools that family members attend. As you analyze this aspect, check the routes to these places, including the public transportation available. You may want to take a test drive to check out how much traffic there is and how long the trip will take you. The type of road you are located on can have a dramatic impact on a home’s market value.
The location also includes the neighborhood where the house is located. You can get a feel for the area by taking a walk for a few blocks in each direction. Observe the condition of the homes as well as the age and activities of the neighbors.
If you notice the neighborhood seems to be growing and improving, it’s a good sign. On the other hand, houses that are run down can be a negative indicator.
It’s also a good idea to check the crime rating for the neighborhood. This, along with the average prices of homes in the area, can help you evaluate the surroundings of your potential home.
Maintenance and Safety Issues
It’s essential to know the results of a recent home inspection before deciding to buy a house. Make sure you have accurate information on the following potential problem areas:
- Foundation problems
- Roof damage
- Issues with pests
- Mold or rot
- Outdated wiring
- Improper insulation
If you find out about any of these problems before signing the paperwork for the house, you’ll typically be able to negotiate a lower price. In some cases, the seller may agree to pay to fix the problems before the sale goes through.
You’ll also want to take a good look at any appliances that will remain in the house. Make sure you understand what will stay and what will go with the current owners. Assess the age and condition of any appliances that will remain to know if you can anticipate needing to repair or replace them soon.
Security features are essential, especially if you don’t feel completely safe in the neighborhood. Check what outdoor lighting or cameras may already be installed.
Does the home have an alarm system? Does it include just the doors or also the windows? A window alarm is still an important part of an alarm system. Consider what’s already installed and what you’ll have to add after the move.
A significant advantage of having an alarm system is it can bring down the cost of your home insurance. A win-win for sure!
What Can You Afford?
Your loan approval numbers can give you an idea of how much you can afford. These numbers also typically dictate how much you’ll need for a down payment. Usually, it’s desirable to put about 20% down, but this number can vary depending on the type of loan or individual agreements with sellers. If you find yourself short on the necessary amount of money, you can get a down payment gift from a close family member.
If the price of the house is over your pre-approval limit or you can’t afford a down payment of 20%, it’s best to look for something cheaper. You may also wish to consider potential future fluctuations in your income and choose something you’re sure you can afford even if your income decreases.
Some lenders calculate that you can afford a monthly payment of up to 33% of your gross income. Others take a more conservative line, estimating a buyer can pay only 28% for housing costs, including the mortgage, taxes, and insurance.
When deciding how much you can afford, talk with your mortgage broker about your projected income, types of mortgages, interest rates, and the current housing market. Ask about closing costs, as well.
You’ll also want to take into consideration the costs involved in moving, such as renting a moving truck and paying someone to help move furniture. There may also be deposits or fees for utilities when you move to the new house.
Consider any costs with child care or boarding pets during the time you’re moving. You’ll need to factor in any cleaning supplies necessary to clean the old house and the new one. Be careful to be aware of all the potential hidden costs involved with moving.
What’s Negotiable and What’s Not?
As you consider purchasing a new home, think about what you absolutely cannot live with or without. There are some things that you’ll find are not negotiable for you.
Maybe you can’t stand the thought of spending your weekends on lawn care or pool maintenance. If this is the case, choose a smaller yard or a property without a pool.
In general, your focus after a showing can help you understand what your top priority is. If you spend more time thinking about the one negative aspect of a property than about its good qualities, the compromise is probably not worth it for you.
If you look at numerous properties and nothing seems to click with you, you may need to give it a little time and keep looking. You may also conclude that it’s not the right time for you to buy a home. Renting can be a good choice, especially if you’re not sure how long you’ll stay.
Concluding Thoughts on Buying a House
Buying a home is a complex process that requires much analysis and perseverance. However, taking the time to consider all the essential aspects can pay off.
Make sure you understand your needs and evaluate the surrounding area adequately before making a decision. Be aware of home inspection results and stay within your budget. Compromise only if you’re sure you can truly live with the decision. This way, you’ll be as happy as possible with your new family home.
Hopefully, some of these tips on what to consider when buying a home have been useful.
About the author: The above article on things to consider when buying a home was written by Wendy Dessler. Wendy is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.