Things To Consider When You Buy a House
Purchasing a house is a big investment and, probably, the biggest and most complex purchase you’ll ever make so you have to have as much knowledge and insight as possible before making a decision. Doing your research and not rushing through the process is important if you want to be happy with your new house. Don’t rush in and buy, otherwise, you might be left to deal with unwanted consequences.
There are a few things to consider before buying a house so take a step back and read out the list before you start your property search.
How Much You Afford To Pay For The House
Don’t even begin to look at properties until you know how much you can afford to pay for a house. If you have to take a loan, what you afford mean what you afford to pay each month, not the maximum you can borrow.
Take into consideration home loan payments but also costs associated with owning a house. Analyze the impact of owning a house will have on your income compared to rental payments.
It is useful to actually test your theories so before committing to a budget, see if you can actually live on that budget for a few months. Use a calculator to estimate the loan repayments, put away a sum of money for monthly maintenance, and then see if you can afford to live comfortably with what’s left. Also, remember there are a number of upfront costs you should be able to cover.
After doing all these things you can apply for pre-approval and start looking at properties. Pre-approval means you have a good idea of what type of mortgage you can handle and how much you need for a down payment. Usually, you’ll need approximately 20% for a down payment but this can vary.
Work With Experts
Once you established your budget, it is time to bring in the pros. It is important to surround yourself with experts and not do everything on your own, otherwise, you might end up paying more than you bargained for so don’t do this common mistake.
Hire a licensed home inspector who can pinpoint any issues the house you like might have. You might think a home inspection is just a formality but it really isn’t. Inspections can uncover serious problems such as roof damage, foundation problems, pest issues, mold, wiring problems, improper insulation and so on. Repairs can be expensive so it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. Another good news is, once a problem becomes obvious, you can ask the seller to fix it before buying the house or to give you a discount on the original price.
To ensure you can afford the house of your dreams, you should work with a mortgage broker. You can also consult with a financial planner if you still have doubts about your budget.
Don’t Listen To Everyone
When you’re looking for a house, you should stop listening to random people’s opinions, unless you’re sure they can give you good tips. Family and friends who bought a house decades ago cannot give you tips for today’s market. However, people who work in the real estate industry, those who work or worked in home improvement or similar industries can provide grounded advice and you should absolutely listen to their opinions.
Research The Local Area
Before deciding on a house, do some research on the neighborhood and check the market trends for the area. Talk to your realtor or to your mortgage broker to get a better sense of the value of the properties in the area you’re looking at.
You should also do some research on your own. Take a walk around the neighborhood and see how the houses and yards look. Pay attention to the people who live in the area and see if there’s anything or anyone who makes you feel uneasy. Looking at crime rating is another important step you shouldn’t skip before buying a house.
Proximity to Work and Schools
If you have or plan to have children, check the nearby schools online and see if they can provide the education and resources you want for your kids. When you visit the neighborhood, check the routes to school, see if there’s public transportation, how much time it takes to go to school, and how busy are the roads during rush hour.
The Size Of The Home
Budget is only one aspect involved in the size of the home you’ll buy. But there are other things to consider as well. Things like how much space you need or you will need in the future if you plan to have kids, how much space your belonging require. A big house means will reflect on your utility bills so don’t buy a big house for the sake of doing it, make sure you really need it. If all the houses you found are too big for your needs, consider a condo or a townhouse.
Which Way Do The Windows Face
This might not seem important at all but it’s actually a very important detail. The windows’ position determines how much sun the house gets, when it gets it, and how hot it is if you leave the windows open. It will also give you a clue about how to maintain the lawn and siding.
Take Your Time
We cannot stress this enough! It is important to not rush. Once you’ve found a property you like, make sure there are no hidden surprises, check walls to see if they sound hollow, check the appliances if the house comes with them. Check the bathroom to see if the toilet flushes properly, test the air-conditioner, check the water pressure. All these things are important and they can save you money. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask questions. In fact, the more questions you asked, the better decision you’ll make.
Never operate on someone else’s timeline when you’re looking for a house. It is best to be sure everything is exactly how you want it. Another important thing- don’t make commitments until you feel absolutely ready and confident in your decision.
The Age of Appliances
Speaking of appliances, make sure you take a closer look at every single appliance in the house if they are staying. Ask the seller if they sell the house with the appliances, some sellers can trick you into believing the appliances are sold with the house when in fact they aren’t. Any appliance older than 10 years will probably need to be changed soon and, unless you can afford to do it, don’t commit to the house just yet.
Homeowner’s Association Details
Before buying a house, find out if there’s a homeowner association or a similar association and, if there is, make sure you know their requirements. Ask your realtor to provide them for you so you can read thoroughly. Note any fees that you might have to pay, see if you’re allowed to make changes to the house, check parking rules, and anything else that might interest you.
The State Of Offers On The House
Talk to your realtor to find out if there are any offers on the house you’re looking into buying. A good realtor should be able to provide you with this information. It’s good to have an idea about who and how much is bidding for the property. There’s a lot of competition on popular houses and it is best to know who you’re competing against. If an investor is interested in the house you want, it will be hard to counteroffer since most investors offer cash payments upfront, thus it is best to not waste your time and keep looking at other houses.
Negotiate As Much As You Can
Don’t be afraid to negotiate. As a buyer, you should be able to negotiate and get a better deal if your requirements are justified. An extra $10.000 may not seem much if you plan to buy a six-figure house but, when it all adds up, there’s quite a lot. Any money you don’t have to pay can be invested in the house once it belongs to you so negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.
Use Your Head, Not Your Heart
Buying a house is not a matter of the heart, it is a matter of the brain so don’t let your heart dictate your decision! When the deal is not right, walk away even if you feel in love with a house. There surely is another house on the market that’s right for you. And that you will love.
Financial transactions should be thought through, not done based on emotions and feelings. That may sound harsh but if your terms are not met, you should move on.
Another important thing to note is that real estate agents want to make a quick sale and at the highest price so don’t let them pressure you into a buying a house that doesn’t meet your requirements. Back away if you feel rushed. It’s less likely to make a decision you’ll regret if you make an objective and informed decision, not a rushed one.