As the saying goes, “Location, location, location.” When it comes to real estate, location is the number one factor you should consider when buying a home. Is the area in an up-and-coming neighborhood? Is it in a growing city or a shrinking one? Is it near where you work? Do the local schools offer the quality of education you want for your children?
Location is one of the biggest factors in the value of a property, so make sure you understand recent property value trends in your city and the differences each neighborhood offers.
When you are looking to buy a home, take a drive around the block and look at what types of neighbors you see within a few blocks. Look for red flags like broken down cars, unkempt lawns, and poorly maintained homes.
Some neighborhoods have a homeowner’s association setting rules about what owners can and can’t do with their homes, but urban neighborhoods rarely have any covenant controls and you are stuck living with whatever your neighbors want to do. Do not get caught off guard with an unpleasant surprise after moving in.
You never want to overpay for a home, so look at recent comparable sales in the surrounding neighborhood, and compare the quality of the home to others nearby as well.
If your home is new construction in an old neighborhood, you can expect a higher cost than a 100-year-old home.
There is nothing worse than moving into a home and finding out you have a serious problem that will unexpectedly cost thousands of dollars to repair.
A detailed home inspection is important. When your inspector is working through your home, you should follow them to see what they are looking for and understand the issues they find.
Your Own Finances
It does not matter that you found your dream home if you cannot afford it. Before you start looking at homes, get an idea of what you can afford.
Take a look at your down payment savings and your monthly income to better understand what you can afford. A larger down payment means a lower monthly payment and higher likelihood of being approved for a mortgage, so be sure you have enough saved to buy the home you want.
Finding the Right Agent
Your real estate agent helps guide you through the entire process of finding and buying a home, so it is vitally important that you find an agent you like and can trust.
When you are ready to find an agent, be sure to interview multiple agents to find one you can trust and work well with. Find someone who understands your needs and will make buying a home an exciting and enjoyable experience, not a stressful one.
If you are prepared, do your research, and work with a great agent, there is little sitting between you and your next home. So what are you waiting for? Start researching to find your dream home today.