Buying a house is one of the most important financial decisions you will make in your entire life. Most likely, your home is the most expensive purchase that you will ever make, so it is important that you pay attention to all the details and choose the home that is the best fit for you and your family.
While buying a house can be a stressful time, it can also be an exciting time in your life and you should try to enjoy the process along the way. To help you get a grasp on the home buying process, following are four things not to overlook when buying a house. This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list, but simply one to get you to start thinking of things you might want to be aware of when buying a house. You will also notice that there is no mention of getting a mortgage as that is a completely different topic altogether.
#1 – Square Footage
When you start out looking for a home, you should establish a range that will work for you in terms of square footage. You don’t want to buy a home that is too small that you will quickly grow out of and need to move again. Likewise, buying a house that is too big for your needs simply means you will pay more in terms of utilities and taxes for space that you aren’t using.
Think about the size of your family (both now and in the future) and decide what kind of square footage you need. You should also look at the layout of the house to see if it’s going to fit your needs and wants, now and later down the road. I know this may be a bit difficult to do but can be extremely important to do if you’re planning on starting a family. I wish we would’ve done more of this before we bought our home as it could’ve saved us some headaches now.
#2 – Wear and Tear
If you are looking at homes that are not new construction, pay attention to the amount of wear and tear in the house. Are there a lot of details that need to be fixed up when you move in? Do all of the faucets, toilets, etc. work like they should?
None of these items alone need to be deal breakers, but take into account any minor repair work that you will have to have done. You will also want to consider negotiating this into the asking price of the house. Even if you’re able to DIY most of the projects, it will cost you time in addition to your expenses.
#3 – Good ‘Bones’
Don’t be turned off by an ugly paint color, or even some bad wallpaper as those are things that can be changed relatively easily. Instead, pay attention to the ‘bones’ of the house. That means the structure itself, the roof, the interior walls, etc. If those major elements are in good condition (and pass inspection), you can worry about making minor changes later on after you move in. This is also assuming the fact that you’ve done your due diligence when it comes to hiring an independent home inspector that is not tied to the real estate agent.
#4 – Location Matters When it Comes to Buying a House
You can change a lot of things about a home after you purchase it, but you can’t move it. Make sure any house that you are considering is in the right location for you and your family to be happy for years to come. Is it close enough to work? Close enough to school for kids? What is the neighborhood like?
Location is one of the most important elements in your in your home search, so take time to search out available properties in your desired area and give them first consideration. You want to be able to enjoy living in your home for many years to come, and the location of the house is going to be a big part of your satisfaction.
What are some things you look for when buying a house? What is a deal breaker for you when purchasing a house?
Photo courtesy of: Pallspera