Of course it is always exciting to purchase a home and there are lots of things to be happy and excited about. But let us take a look at a few considerations that will help make your home buying experience a much more pleasant one without any unhappy surprises.
1 – Haunt Your New Neighborhood!
Before you make a final decision, make a point of visiting your new neighborhood at various times of the week and various times of the day. Are there hordes of school kids playing football on your street at 4pm? Does your next door neighbor like to mow the lawn at 8am on Sunday mornings? Can you hear a live band tuning up a few door down on Saturday nights? These are things you will do well to find out before you move in. Know if you are in a good or poor school district and find out if the morning sun floods your new master bedroom at daybreak. These are things that will matter once you are living there.
2 – Let’s Get Physical, Or At Least Give Your New House One!
One of the most important things you can do before you purchase your home is get a thorough home inspection. It is money well spent because a good home inspector can potentially save you thousands of dollars. He or she will be able to spot faulty plumbing, electrical issues, and so many more potential landmines that could end up costing you big bucks down the line.
3 – Do Not Get Emotional!
That new house may look just like the one you grew up in or remind you of your grandmother’s cozy little bungalow but do not fall into the emotional trap. Purchasing a home needs to be a purely objective exercise. Use a pragmatic and analytical eye when assessing that new piece of property. Emotions aside, this is a business investment and should be treated as such.
4 – Do Not Try To Second-Guess The Market!
Do not let a great deal pass you by because you are waiting for the market to improve. Second-guessing the market is unwise and highly unpredictable. Even experts get caught off guard trying to predict what the market will do over the next few years or even a few months. If you find the perfect home and you are in a position to purchase it, strike while the iron is hot and do not miss out on your dream home.
5 – Sometimes Bigger Is Not Better.
It is easy to be attracted to the largest and most beautiful house on the block. But when it comes to houses bigger is not always better. Your home will only appreciate in value at the same rate as your neighbor’s homes, so if you pay twice as much for your house, the appreciation you realize is going to be limited. Not only that, but the bigger the house the higher the utility bills. Think about it carefully before you commit to a larger home than you really need.
6 – Know Your Boundaries!
By all means, before you close your escrow, make sure you know exactly where your property lines are and if there are any easements or encroachments that you should be aware of. Ask your real estate professional for a copy of the preliminary title report and read it carefully. If necessary, hire a surveyor to verify the property boundaries.
7 – Beware The Hidden Costs!
Do not just focus on the mortgage payment and forget about property taxes, homeowner association dues, and insurance. In the excitement of purchasing your dream home it is easy to forget that there are additional costs attached to home ownership. Do you have a large lawn that will need maintenance? Do you have a swimming pool that will need regular cleaning? Is there a large tree in your yard that will shed buckets of leaves every year? Special assessments, additional insurance because you are in a hazard zone, additional maintenance because you are purchasing an older home, all of these are possible hidden costs that should be considered before you sign on the dotted line.