Your dream home is not something that only exists in fantasy. You can get exactly what you’ve been dreaming about when it comes to the perfect place to hang your hat. That isn’t to say that it’s easy, though.
Whether it is your first house or your fifth, buying a home is one of the most significant decisions you will make in your lifetime. Here are the seven most important factors to consider when buying a home.
Factors To Consider When Buying A Home
Do a bit of online research to determine what kind of features you would like your home to have. Do you want a good size garden? Do you need somewhere safe to park your car? Figuring out these questions will let you know what you are and are not willing to compromise on.
Here is an ultimate list of factors to consider when buying a home.
Figuring out your budget is usually the first thing you need to consider when buying a home.
Factor in the costs of property tax, stamp duty, realtor fees, and any other costs you will incur when purchasing a property. Having a figure in mind for how much you can afford will help narrow down your search, and let you know what you can expect to get for your budget. You may need to consider other factors, such as your credit score if you are looking to get a mortgage as well.
Deciding on your budget will also help determine the size, age, and location of the property. If you are looking for homes for sale in Scottsdale AZ, for example, then you will need to check if properties in Scottsdale are a good fit for your budget.
Do not be put off looking at houses priced slightly above your budget either, as some sellers will be open to offers lower than the asking price, especially if the property has been on the market for a while.
Once you have a budget in mind, location is usually one of the first details to think about when searching for a property.
We all want to buy a home in a desirable area but consider the locations you are looking at in finer detail. What is there to do nearby? Are there shops, bars, and restaurants that you could see yourself frequenting? Are there any parks or areas of greenery around?
As a buyer, you want to find a location that allows easy access to the places you frequent the most, so look for somewhere with easy access to the main roads. Checking this out before you buy can save you from lengthy commutes further down the line.
Also, consider your lifestyle. If you prefer to walk over having to get in the car every time you need to run errands then you need to make sure it is close enough to the things important to you. Outdoorsy people will want to be closer to nature than an urban dweller who loves to do brunch at their favorite local restaurant.
When viewing a property, try to envision how each room can work for you. Will you need to alter the layout of the property to fit your needs, and will there be enough space?
Consider how your needs may change in the future as well, you may be looking to start a family soon, or possibly retire and downsize to a smaller property in a few years. A home needs to be a flexible place, where your changing needs will not be an issue. If you purchase a property at a lower price in an up-and-coming area, for example, then you may have a good option for resale in the future.
As well as the available space inside the home, make sure you consider the size of the lot the home is on as well. Lots come in all shapes and sizes, and the amount of privacy you desire, as well as the size and shape of your lawn and driveway, may be important to you.
However, it is best to not buy a bigger house than what you currently need or will need depending on family growth. A big house means there is more to maintain, more utility bills and more things to go wrong. So, consider where you have lived before and how much you and your belongings require.
Fixtures, fittings, and appliances
Spending a little more on a property that comes with convenient appliances or quality fixtures and fittings, or the potential to install new fittings later will be worth it in the long run.
Appliances are expensive to replace, so take the time to estimate the age and condition of those at the property you are looking at. Check the washer and dryer, furnace or boiler, and any air conditioner units.
Generally, if an appliance is more than 10 years old then it is probably time to replace it. This includes refrigerators, ovens, and other important fixtures.
However, do not simply assume that all the appliances you see in a property will be staying in the house once you have bought it. Some sellers can be tricky with this information, so it is best to check twice.
Finding your dream home is not easy, and you may find that you must make compromises here and there to fit your budget.
Therefore, it is important to not just look at a property as it stands right now but to consider the potential of each property that you view.
A lot of homes with outside space will have the potential to be extended, so even if a property is not ideal in its current state you may be able to change it up in the future.
Extending the kitchen, knocking through for an open plan dining room, converting the loft or basement, adding a conservatory, all can add value to a property and provide you with the extra space you need to make a house your own.
As well as this, remember that simple cosmetic changes, such as a bit of paint and new cabinets, are one thing. But making changes to kitchens and bathrooms, building an extension, or swapping out fittings and fixtures can all significantly rack up the expenses.
Get Information about Local Schools
Homeowners with young kids must always keep these factors to consider when buying a home to avoid unnecessary commute time and other hassles. Get educated about the schools in the area, their curriculum, and budget history.
Although school ranking is not the best or the only factor to check but it gives you a good idea about the school. You may ask in the neighborhood or look for online reviews. School is going to be a major factor when you start house hunting.
Take Noise Levels into Account
This might come across as a minor setback initially but in a long run, it could create major issues. Noise levels have compelled many house owners to sell their houses and look for a quiet neighborhood.
A house on a busy road is not only annoying but is a major factor that could potentially restrict the resell options.
In case, you decide to buy a house that is close to a busy street, make sure it is properly insulated. Today, we have many means to soundproof the houses to a great extend.
FAQ’s When Buying A Home
After goings through all the factors to consider when buying a home these questions will help you know your prospect and put a good offer.
What’s included in the sale?
It is always advisable to get a list of items that will be included in the sale. Sometimes you think every fixture, appliance, cabinet present during the house viewing will come in the sale. It is not always the case.
In Norway, fixed appliances like a stove, dishwasher comes with the sale while movable appliances like fridge, washer, and dryer, are often not included. However, it also depends on state law.
A list of items will make it clear whether or not you are getting what is on display in the house.
Is the home in a flood zone or prone to other natural disasters?
A property should be examined thoroughly where it’s in a natural disaster or flood zone. If you are looking at a property that comes in a natural disaster zone, you would need additional insurance coverage.
The recent floods in Texas and other parts of the USA left many house owners in a lurch when they found out their houses were not sufficiently insured for natural disasters.
You can easily find out whether a property is in a high-risk flood zone using Flood Map services FEMA‘s
Make sure you have enough insurance to renovate or completely rebuild your house if it is destroyed by any natural disaster.
Are there any major renovations?
While a home might look inviting and fully renovated from the outside, there are so many hidden factors that would eventually come up and demand a huge renovation. Such issues are often hidden in plain sight.
You may need to do some research and seek advice before buying, however, just to make sure that you will be able to extend the property in the future if you desire. Contact the town hall where your potential house is and ask them what kind of permits would be needed to make an addition to the house.
Some of the things you can do to avoid disaster are as follows.
- Check whether the property follows local building codes. All the living space is according to the codes and no rules are flaunted.
- You must ask for the original manufacturer warranties on systems or any appliances if those have been replaced or repaired.
- Check for major repairs or renovations that have been done in the home
Are there any health or safety hazards?
A house that looks gorgeous from the outside might hide many safety and health hazards. Sometimes even the sellers are not aware of these issues until they cause a major problem. It is, therefore, advisable to check a few points before making the final move.
- Ask for documentation if there have been any safety or health hazards in the past.
- Get a home inspector if you suspect hazardous problems.
- Check for proper insulation, mold, lead paint, radon, or other major hazards
How is the neighborhood?
The neighborhood is a crucial factor when you decide to buy a home. While it is easy to change, renovate or fix things in your house but it is highly unlikely that you could change anything about the neighborhood.
If you are looking for a family home, then make sure you check out the local schools and how they are rated, consider how your kids will get there and if there is a bus route nearby.
How much have homes sold for in the neighborhood?
It is important to remember that property prices vary greatly depending on the area. If you find you are disappointed with the properties you can afford in the location you want to live in then you may need to consider compromising on the area to afford that extra bedroom.
Or, on the other hand, look at cheaper properties in said area that you may be able to fix up over time.
What’s the history of past insurance claims?
Check if there have been any insurance claims filed by the house owners in the last few years. It will give you an insight if there has been any major damages, theft, or vandalism.
If the seller fails to mention any such claims, you must get a copy of a C.L.U.E. report (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) or an equivalent in your state or country to get this important information. This is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a home.
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If finding your ideal home is proving to be difficult then you may want to consider building a house from the ground up. However, then you have to find the perfect land for sale that can be built upon.
In other words, there is no ideal situation so you will have to find areas where you need to compromise. Once you find your dream house, usually you will be fine with giving up some of the things you had on your list of must-haves.
This ultimate list of Factors to consider when buying a home is surely going to help before you make a final decision.