After much deliberation, you’ve finally decided that it’s time to buy a new home, which means it’s time to start the home buying process. Because purchasing a home is such a considerable commitment, the experience from start to finish can be intimidating and overwhelming for both first-time home buyers and even previous homeowners.
The last thing any homebuyer wants is to feel they’ve made the wrong decision upon signing the contract. There are the obvious questions that homebuyers know to contemplate before they make their final decision: Does the cost of this home fit into my allotted budget? Is this home in a good school district so that my kids will receive a good education? Will this home need extra renovations to make it livable and would that be worth the extra cost?
But there are other questions that you should be asking yourself that may not seem as important at the onset, but will make a difference down the line. Here are 3 questions I urge my clients to consider:
Have you explored every area of the home?
Looking at pictures online isn’t enough. Even taking virtual tours, although better than photographs, aren’t always an accurate representation of the home. Schedule a showing in person and see it not just once, but twice, or even three times. Explore every inch of the home and try to picture your life there. Are the rooms big enough for all of the members in your family? Is there enough storage for all of your things? Obviously you can make renovations in the future to improve on what is lacking, but renovations are expensive, so you want to limit the changes you need to make.
Do you know what the neighborhood is like?
If you are going to be settling your life into a new neighborhood, you want to make sure that you know what the area is like first. Spend some time in the area, research crime rates and police activity, check online to see if there are any registered sex-offenders in your area, etc. You haven’t purchased the right home for you if you don’t feel comfortable living in it. For detailed criminal statistics, CrimeReports.com and SpotCrime provide extensive information on burglaries, auto thefts, and violent assaults that have occurred nearby. Check the National Sex Offender Database (or Family Watchdog) to see who’s living nearby.
What happened in this house’s past?
This may sound like a silly question to ask, but it’s important to know what happened both to and in a house before you move in. Have you ever heard the term “Stigmatized” before? This refers to homes where people have committed suicide or have been murdered, where paranormal activity has been reported, and where meth labs have been uncovered. There are often laws that force this information to be revealed to any potential buyers, but it’s still important to ask if any of these could affect your decision to buy.
The more information you can discover about a home and its surrounding area, the better. These will all be details that you can go back and revisit when it is time to make your final decision.
Phyllis Miller - REALTOR, GRI | AMPMRealtors.com | Powered by eXpRealty | [email protected] | (281) 788-8845