Every buyer should keep 5 critical things in mind when they set about buying a house. They range from the more general to the practical. We will begin with the general.
- You Can’t Take it Back if You Change Your Mind
This sounds obvious, but the current homeowner does not have a return policy, so keep that in the forefront of your mind. Buy the house you want to live in. Write down your list of what you must have, must not have, want to have, and the things you can do without. Compare each house you see to your list.
- You Are Also Buying the Neighborhood
The second most common reason for a house going up for sale is because the present owner made a mistake. They do not like the neighborhood, the school district, the traffic noise, or there is some other major problem they did not think about, because they loved the house itself. Make sure the neighborhood will be right for you and your lifestyle.
- Check the City’s Development Plans
Are there plans for any sort major new development beginning in the near future? If so, will it enhance the neighborhood? Will you be happy for your family to live there during the construction period? If you know about these possibilities, you can make the right decisions.
- Choose the Professionals Well
You will probably work with a Realtor, a home inspector, a mortgage lender, and a title company or law firm. Different professionals have different areas of expertise, and they have different levels of competence. Most buyers work with the first Realtor they contact, so it is worth learning about their track record and experience. You will probably take out a mortgage, so work with a lender that is right for you, not just one who advertises a low interest rate. Choose a home inspector who will go into real detail.
- Know the Home’s History
Every home has a history. If it is new construction does the company have a good reputation, or are they known to use lower quality materials and inexperienced workers? If the house is pre-owned, what repairs have been done? Has it had plumbing or roof leaks, has the HVAC system been well maintained? Does it look as though it may need a garage door repair? Garage doors fail at the worst time, so have your inspector check the springs and the cables, and have him test the opener.