Home Buying is a big decision. It not only represents one of the biggest financial investments of your life, but is also where you will spend the majority of your life. Having said that, there are many factors to consider before signing on to the dotted line, besides how many bedrooms the house has and whether the kitchen is currently being refurbished. Here are 7 things to look out for before buying that dream home.
Location is more than just a neighborhood when it comes to buying a home. The area of the country where you choose to live can dramatically affect how affordable a home is depending on the cost of housing in that area as well as property and utility tax rates. Beyond price, things like weather, culture, and job opportunities are all things you’ll want to consider before settling in for the long term.
Quaint cottages surrounded by open grounds may be beautiful, but is living in a rural area far from the shops and cultural entertainment something you enjoy in the long term? There’s no right answer to this, but be sure to only take city, country or suburban spots if that’s a lifestyle you’re comfortable with from day to day versus a great vacation.
3. Home Purchase: New/Pre-Owned?
Buying a home with a previous owner tends to be less expensive than buying or building something new, and you have the advantage of seeing how the home holds up over time. At the same time, an older home will need repairs more quickly, and if the home has older wiring or plumbing, you’ll want good home insurance to cover potential problems.
Looking into the actual dynamics of the environment is, of course, important. Is your house the best on the block or is it a match for the other houses? Look at crime statistics, income levels, and typical education levels in the neighborhood. When buying a home, consider whether the neighborhood’s demographics match your comfort. If you can, try to talk to some of the people who live in the neighborhood to get a better idea of what it’s like.
5. Traffic Patterns
Traffic is usually ignored when buying a home, but living near rush hour traffic or a steady stream of cars passing your way every day because you live right near an elementary school can quickly become a nuisance. Also, do you have easy access to the main road from where you live? What is the commute to work like. Be sure to try the ride and go around the neighborhood a few times a day to see if traffic patterns are tolerable.
6. Proximity to Activities/Family
It’s also important to consider how close you want to live to your friends and family and what recreational activities you want to have close access to. If you only like to go out occasionally and live further away it may be fine, but if you like to go out a few nights a week, proximity to those activities will be important.
7. Public Service
Finally, be sure to visit schools, parks, libraries, museums and other public services that are important to your family. How well these places are maintained can tell you a lot about how well the city is funded and whether or not your property’s value will be maintained.