getting the house that's best for you
- The neighborhood: You're not just buying a house - you're also buying the neighborhood. Look at how neighbors take care of their properties. This could either increase of decrease your property value. Also, drive around the neighborhood at different times of day to see how neighbors interact. If you have a family, check to see if there are any kids in the neighborhood.
- The location of the home and how it sits on the property: Practically everything about a house can be changed except for where it's located. Check noise levels as well as how close the house is to work, school, stores and highways. Is the house on the top or bottom of a hill? Does the house have a yard or garden? Which direction does the sun rise? All of these factors will affect your daily life in the house.
- The size and floor plan of the house: Consider your future family plans and see if the house will accommodate them. Does it have enough space for a growing family? Or is it too big?
- The age and condition of the home: Although there may be nothing wrong with an older home when you purchase it, there can be costly problems down the road, such as repairs or replacement costs. New houses can also have problems. If you are purchasing in a newer subdivision, consider speaking to neighbors that used the same builder to see if they encountered any problems.
- Obvious problems with the house: Noticing water stains or cracked concrete the first time you walk through the house will save you a lot of time. If you're willing to deal with problems, you can move on to the next house instead of having to wait on the inspector to tell you about the problems.
- How long the house has been on the market: A house that has been on the market for a long time can indicate many things, particularly that it might be overpriced and/or the sellers are not willing to negotiate, or that it might have a problem.
- Get an inspection: Hire a qualified, independent home inspector to work for you. The inspector will go through the house and give you a report on its condition. It's well worth the cost of having it done.
- Will your furniture fit in the house: If you are not planning to buy new furniture when you move, you should measure your current furniture and compare those measurements to the houses you are looking at to see if your furniture is too big or too small.
- Post-purchase work: Will the house require a lot of work when you move in? For example, will the carpet need to be replaced or the walls painted? You need to determine if you will have enough time and money to complete the work to make the house livable.
- The home's resale value: Try to determine how much the home will appreciate in value. This is based on the neighborhood upkeep, local school statistics, area crime rates, home maintenance and many other factors. You can ask your Realto to get area statistics.
If you're looking at buying a home or want to refinance your current home, we are here to help! Call or stop by to speak with our mortgage experts. We can help you get pre-approved for your next mortgage, or we can review your refinancing options with you.