December 8th, 2019 10:29 AM by Jackie A. Graves, President
make one of the largest purchases of your life, be sure to think things
decide that you’re financially ready to buy a home, the tricky part is
finding the ideal property to call your own. In the course of your home search,
you may come across a number of options that seem viable initially, but less so
when you put more thought into it.
Of course, the last thing you want to do is buy the wrong house
and regret it. If a property catches your eye, be sure to run through these
questions before putting in an offer.
Try as you might to find a house that’s listed below a certain
dollar amount, you may fall in love with a home that’s just outside
the top end of your price range. Or you might find a home with a lower purchase
price, but the property taxes make it a more
expensive prospect. Before you commit to buying a house, understand the exact
cost of owning it and figure out whether you can swing it financially.
Remember, your mortgage payment and property taxes are only part
of the equation. You’ll also need to account for expenses like homeowners
insurance and maintenance. If, for example,
you’re drawn to a home with a huge yard and a built-in swimming pool, you could
end up paying a lot more for upkeep.
Look at the big picture. That also means you don’t have
to write off a house that costs $5,000 more than you wanted to pay if its taxes
are lower than you expected.
Even if you’re planning to live in your new house for the
foreseeable future, there may come a point when you decide to move (or
you have to move). The last thing you want is to struggle
finding a buyer. That’s why it’s important to buy in the right neighborhood or
one that's on its way there.
In fact, in some cases, it pays to purchase a house in an
up-and-coming neighborhood rather than an
established one since you might snag a more affordable property in the process.
But you don’t want to buy a house where home prices have
steadily declined over the years.
You might find a house you love in a trendy neighborhood with
plenty of restaurants, galleries, and shops. But if you have young kids, you
probably need a solid school system more than anything else.
Remember, just because a neighborhood is desirable from a home
resale perspective doesn’t mean it’s the right place for you to live. Dig
deeply before making an offer on a house in an area you’re not intimately
In the course of your home search, you may be inclined to buy a
fixer-upper because of the savings involved. But make sure you don’t get in
over your head. If the house you’re looking at needs a lot of work, you may
find that you’re better off buying a more expensive home that’s in better shape
to begin with.
The best way to predict expenses is to get quotes from
contractors. Even without seeing the place, an experienced kitchen remodeling
company should be able to give you a ballpark estimate for gutting a
300-square-foot space and installing brand new flooring, countertops,
cabinetry, and appliances.
In the course of buying a home, you may find that you can't check
every single item off your wish list. For example, you might spot a home with
updated bathrooms and a finished basement, but without the open
floor plan you want. It’s okay to settle for a home that has some flaws, but
make sure you can address those shortcomings in the future.
For example, an outdated kitchen can be remodeled and laminate
flooring can be replaced with hardwood. You can even tear down walls, to some
degree, if you want a more open space. But you can’t turn a
house with a small backyard into a house with a large yard, nor can you score
your desired basement game room if the home in question doesn't, in fact, have
a basement. Before you settle for a house that’s not perfect, make sure the
problems in question are fixable at some point in time. Otherwise, you may come
to regret the decision to buy.
Buying a house isn’t something you do every year (in most cases),
so it’s crucial to get it right. Answer these key questions, and with any luck,
you’ll make a good decision.
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