Buying a new home can be an exciting experience. You have the opportunity to ensure that your house fits your needs, whether that means choosing a bigger property to fit an expanding family or scaling down after your kids leave the nest.
However, if you’re a first-time homebuyer, or haven’t bought a property in a long time, understanding what to look for in a home can pose a challenge.
This is only exacerbated if you’re also moving to a new city or area, as you’ll be less familiar with the properties and the concerns you need to look out for.
If this sounds like you, don’t worry. This guide will provide you with a ton of tips you can use to ensure that you find the home of your dreams in the blink of an eye!
Decide What You’re Looking For
When most people think of buying a home, they picture a traditional house with a yard. However, this isn’t necessarily ideal for every person.
Consider looking at other properties you can buy, especially if you want to live in the middle of a city. Options include apartments, condos, and townhouses.
If you’re looking to pare down and go minimalistic, also check to see if there are any tiny homes for sale in your area.
These homes are exactly what their name implies small, 100-400 square foot homes that are usually far more budget-friendly than larger options.
Hire a Realtor
An experienced real estate agent can serve as a guide during the buying process and help you find properties you may never have noticed before.
They can also help you negotiate down prices where possible, allowing you to potentially get more for the same budget.
It is, of course, possible to buy a home without professional help. However, as the team at elitehomerealestate.com points out, real estate is usually the biggest investment that a person will make in their life.
You wouldn’t try to navigate the stock market without help – so why should property purchases be any different?
Research the Area
This is an extremely important step to consider if you’re making a big move, no matter whether in the same city or to a different one.
Some Factors that you May Want to Keep in Mind Include:
- The commute between your home and work, as well as between your children’s school and your home.
- If you have children, how are the local schools in the area? Would you be comfortable sending your children to those schools? What school district is the location in?
- Local amenities, including parks, entertainment options, and restaurants. This is especially important if you have children or pets that will need open space to spend time in.
- The cost of living will your salary be able to cover your needs in the new area? This is an especially important consideration for people planning to shift cities and states.
- Crime’s rate and any safety concerns you may have
- The community in general. If you have a young family, you may prefer an area with children of the same age, so your own kids can make friends.
If you’re a parent looking to downsize, you may want to choose a location with people your own age that you can interact with instead of families with children and teenagers.
Consider the State of the Property
If you buy a particular property, will you need to renovate it? What changes will you need to make, and how much work will you need to do?
It’s important to stay practical when considering these questions. You will also need to consider whether or not the renovations required are worth the time and money you will spend on them.
A property may have everything else you’re looking for, but if it promises to be a money pit, you should probably look elsewhere.
Additionally, keep resale value in mind. While you may feel you’re choosing a forever home, this may change in the future.
If the renovations you make will significantly increase the home’s value over that of other houses in the area, it’s probably not a good investment.
After all, a buyer will be unlikely to pay significantly more for your property when they can get a comparable one for much less.
Think About the HVAC Systems
Most people don’t realize just how much changing an HVAC system can cost. If possible, it’s always better to buy a home that has the system that you prefer.
Older homes, for example, may use a boiler and radiator system, which not everyone is comfortable with.
Additionally, central air conditioning can be a drawback for people looking to cut down on electricity bills or those who prefer to have rooms at different temperatures.
While finding a home with the perfect system that fits your needs may not always be possible, it’s always best to ask your realtor to keep your HVAC needs in mind when browsing homes.
Plan a Visit
While looking at pictures can be a great way to cut down on options when you have dozens of houses to look at, it’s always best to schedule a visit to the property once you have a more manageable list.
Research can only tell you so much. Visiting a property allows you to not only get a better sense of the house how it looks in the light, are there any details that didn’t come across in images, etc.
it also allows you to get a better feel of the neighborhood. You’ll be able to check out local amenities and may even be able to talk to some of your potential neighbors, all of which can help you feel far more comfortable when deciding on a purchase.
Buying a home can be as intimidating as it is exciting. However, this doesn’t mean that you should turn it all over to your realtor it’s important to ensure that your voice is heard at every step of the process.
After all, you’re the one who has to live there, and it’s in your best interests to make sure that your dream home is exactly that – the home you have been picturing for years!