You’re planning on buying a new house. That’s wonderful news!
Sure, it’s exciting, but then again, it isn’t an easy job. You’re looking for the ideal home that matches your preferences, from location to amenities to nearby schools.
Your new home will open the doors to a new chapter in your life. And you want everything to be perfect. After all, dream homes are meant to be flawless.
Let’s start house hunting!
A real estate agent will do his job and show you every house available on the market. But you have to make sure that everything checks off on your checklist. Investing in a home is expensive, and you want to make sure that you’re buying the right one.
Navigating through the steps of searching for a home can be challenging. But having a clear plan in plain sight can make the process easier. So whether you’re looking for townhouses, condominiums, or apartments in Buffalo, NY, here are a few things that you should consider before signing any papers.
Define your budget
Dreaming is beautiful, but don’t bite off more than you can chew. Buying a home should be a joyous moment. So make your decisions based on your financial condition.
Try not to stretch your budget. Remember that various payments will need to be made besides the monthly mortgage, such as local taxes, monthly utility bills, and association fees. These costs will be consistent over a period of time. Therefore, it’s advisable to keep a little breathing room in case there is a layoff or an unforeseen incident.
And if you are considering getting a loan, know your credit score and have a lender lined up. So when you find a good bargain, you’re not left scrambling for resources at the last moment.
Research the market
You should have a good idea of what the market is like. Though you may employ the services of a local realtor, it doesn’t hurt to do some research on your own. Keep track of the price range depending upon the location where you are planning to buy. Remember to search with your mind and not your heart.
Many people dream for years about buying a house. So they have all their priorities straight. You must have an idea of what is necessary to make accommodations comfortable for everyone depending upon the size of your family. For a growing household, it may be a spare room that can easily be converted into an extra bedroom when the need arises.
What features do you want that you are not willing to compromise on in any way? Is it a backyard, the number of bedrooms, or, more importantly, the number of bathrooms? Start by thinking about your lifestyle and what will enhance it.
Location is key
As a part of a broader community, you will need to interact with your surroundings. Therefore, homeowners prefer to live where there is easy access to places they frequent the most, whether it’s the office, the school, area of recreation, the local supermarket, or other family members. This helps avoid unreasonably long commutes.
But more importantly, look at the neighborhood. Safety, logistics, cleanliness, and other aspects of everyday living outweigh aesthetics and style. Nabewise.com reported that 54% of Gen X homeowners believe a house, as well as the neighborhood, are equally important in their decision-making.
Much like location, the size of the lot as well as the house matters. While you may be able to knock down the house and rebuild it, you can’t change the size or shape of the lot. So don’t hesitate to walk away from a deal that isn’t big enough.
A house that’s too big could wrack up maintenance costs while one that is too small will leave family members fighting for space. Also, ensure that the layout of the property provides adequate levels of privacy. This includes the positioning of the windows, the driveway, and the yard.
On a side note, if you are confused about where one lot ends and another begins, make sure to check the dimensions.
The age of the property
The age of a house makes quite a difference. An older home requires more maintenance than a brand new one. Some may need repairs or upgrades. You may have to put aside time and a budget to manage these projects.
When you are buying a house, also take into account the age and condition of the appliances. They are expensive to replace. Though the kitchen is typically the first place you inspect, check the washer, dryer, water heater, air conditioner, furnace, and fireplace.
More importantly, don’t assume that the appliances will stay with the house. Check the property listing to be sure which ones will be included in the purchase.
Don’t skip the inspections
The overall condition of the home influences its market value and marketability. So inspections are a crucial part of the homebuying process. It’s advisable to have it done by professionals so you are aware of any issues that may have gone unnoticed, such as damage or structural wear.
Important things to look for include water-related concerns as well as the presence of mold, radon, and asbestos. But don’t be timid to do your checking. Move furniture around and look under the beds. Peek up on closet shelves. Open the dryer, dishwasher, fridge, etc. Knock on the walls to see if they sound hollow.
Check out the electrical system
Depending upon the age of the home, inquire about the wiring. Usually, houses constructed around the 1930s are not up to par, unless they have been renovated.
Modern homes need conventional electrical systems. It’s expensive to bring a house up to code. Moreover, some lenders and insurance companies may not want to get involved with structures that have outdated wiring.
Plan a furniture layout
Don’t fall in love with a home and let it cloud your judgment. Look at it from a realistic point of view. Will you be able to afford an entire selection of furniture when you move?
Most homeowners possess pieces of furniture that have sentimental value attached to them. When looking at homes, consider how they will accommodate your current furniture. Some new items will eventually have to be purchased. But that is one way of adding a personal touch to your new residence.
Know the potential of your home
Every home has some potential for change. One of the easiest ways to revamp your abode is to paint the walls or change the carpet. But sometimes, when a house doesn’t have all the features that homebuyer is looking for, something more drastic needs to be done. That’s because it does have the potential for alterations.
According to Houzz, homebuyers, who renovate their new homes within the same year of purchase have steadily increased over the years. In 2017, it reached 13.4%. On the plus side, it’s one way to increase the value of your home.
House hunting is a slow process. You don’t want to rush into anything. And when you’ve finally decided on ‘the perfect one,’ hire a competent lawyer to deal with all the necessary paperwork.
The time and effort you put into this project will transform it into a place you cherish. A house is a structure that you invest in, but a home is something that you have to make. And remember, it’s the people you love that make your home what it is.
So are you ready to turn to the next page of your book?