For sure, you dream that one day you can have your own house. You browse online to find different home styles that you like. Every day you work hard and save as much as possible so that you can purchase this dream house. Investing your money in houses is a wise decision. Getting there is a worthwhile goal! So, what are the things to know before buying a home?
As you’ve probably guessed, there are a large number of things to know before buying a home. We’ll try and cover the most important ones in this piece but there are more! This underscores the importance of find experts who can help you through the process.
From the experienced local Realtor to the trustworthy loan officer, and even to the home inspector that will be analyzing your potential home—they’re all important!
The Location and the Neighborhood
When buying a house, location is crucial. There are several areas in which the location needs to make sense:
- How far is it to your work?
- If you have children, which school would they attend?
- Is it a long drive to get to the expressways?
- How about shopping and restaurants?
- Is the location in a low- or high-crime area?
There are actually even more important points but you get the idea. Location is huge!
The neighborhood is very important as well, and not just for its appearance. Does the community have amenities? Is there a Homeowners Association (HoA)? What are their HoA dues?
Make sure to ask your expert Realtor as many questions as possible about these issues. Zero in on your favorite two or three neighborhoods as you consider all your new home options.
Budget and Expenses
One of the essential things to know before buying a home is setting your budget. Speaking with a reliable loan officer before you start your house hunting is a smart move. This person will be able to help you focus only on homes that will fit your desired monthly payment.
So where will the funds for this purchase come from? For many people, before they buy their new home they’ll need to sell their current home first. If you reside in Los Angeles you might use a home buying service like Sundae to get a quick sale. A large number of people will hire an agent to help them market their home for a higher sale price.
Even though it seems like a lot of work to gather all the needed information to get pre-approved for a loan, buying is almost always the smarter choice compared to renting. You just need to be aware of all the costs involved.
An important consideration is deciding whether to stay within your budget or splurge. This is a temptation that many homebuyers face. If you’re buying a house on a tight budget the tendency is to push it higher.
Depending on your emotional makeup and your risk tolerance, you may decide to play it safe or go for broke. My recommendation will always be to stay on the conservative side. You don’t want to get in over your head and face foreclosure. If it turns out that money isn’t a problem, you can always sell this home and buy a more expensive one down the road.
When we focus on the actual home search, you’ll want to decide about the kind of home you’re looking for. It often boils down to a binary choice:
- Am I looking for a move-in-ready home where I don’t have many projects to do but will pay top dollar?
- Or, should I target homes that might need some updating but will save money in the process?
Then, of course, you care about how the home looks, the number of bedrooms, baths, etc. If you have dogs, you might be looking for a nice fenced-in yard. For families with lots of children, a finished basement might just what the doctor ordered.
Purchasing your own home is a very significant financial decision. Smart people consider all the factors before signing on the dotted line. Hopefully, this piece has given you a lot to think about. If you have any questions, please contact me… I’m always happy to help!