One of life’s biggest milestones is buying a house. Whether you want a single-family home in the suburbs or an upscale condominium unit, having a house that you can call yours can be a dream come true. However, buying a house comes with certain considerations. After all, it is an investment — a pricey one, at that. Besides, you’ll likely be living in it for the foreseeable future, so you’ll need a property that can keep you and your family happy for a long, long time.
In this article, you’ll find several factors to consider before buying your “forever home”. Keep these tips in mind and remember — don’t be ashamed to be picky.
#1 The People Helping You Buy a House
Who’s accompanying you to showings? Are you sure they’re the best people to consult when it comes to buying a house? When buying a house, your peers will provide you with advice that isn’t entirely accurate. However, you should think twice about taking their advice. They likely don’t know what the market is like because they don’t work in real estate. It’s best to stick with people that know their stuff, like a property manager that isn’t there to “suck up” but to guide you through the home-buying process.
#2 The Location of the House
When buying a house, remember that you aren’t buying the property only. You’re paying to be part of a community. With that in mind, it’s important to consider the type of neighborhood that the house is in. Do you prefer to escape in a peaceful community or do you long for the rush of the big city? Do you want to be able to walk to and from work, or are you willing to take a drive every day?
Drive by the neighborhood and try to envision yourself living there. Walk around the neighborhood and be on the lookout for abandoned houses, trash on the sidewalk, and the like. These are telltale signs that the neighborhood has a high crime rate.
Furthermore, find out of the house is in an HOA-regulated community. Be aware that Homeowners associations (HOA) can dictate what you can and can’t do, so be prepared to play by their rules.
#3 The Size of the Lot
The size of the lot is more important than the size of the house. While you can easily build a home from scratch, the lot can’t be altered at all. Hence, it’s crucial to consider what you want to do with the place. Do you want your kids to have a large backyard they can play in? Are you planning on adding a tiny house in the yard to turn into a short-term rental? If the lot is too small, walk away.
In addition, you shouldn’t buy a house that’s too big. The more rooms, the more areas that need to be maintained, and the higher your energy bills will be. However, if you really want a large house, you can always hire a property management company that provides cleaning services.
#4 The Age of Appliances
Appliances are pricey — a high-end refrigerator can cost you around $10,600 alone, and that doesn’t include the installation cost! Hence, it makes sense to look for a house that has appliances in working order. That way, you won’t have to spend more money on repairs and replacements. Also, don’t forget to consider your preferences. For instance, if the house comes with an electric range and you’d rather use a gas range, let your realtor know.
In addition, don’t assume that the house will come with all the appliances you saw in the showing. Double-check the listing or ask your realtor to know which appliances are included. Then, hire a home inspector to determine the age of the appliances — if they’re older than ten years, it’s time for a replacement.
#5 The Aesthetic of the Home
The style of the house is something you can change easily — that is if you can afford it. Whether contemporary or classic, you need to ensure that the property is one that you’ll love to live in every day. Additionally, consider the house’s curb appeal as it is what you and your guests will first see when they pull up to your property.
If you aren’t sure what you want in terms of aesthetics, tell your realtor or property manager. They can show you a variety of houses, such as Victorian-style homes, contemporary condos, and so on. Eventually, you’ll discover what you truly want.
#6 The Age of the House
If you’re thinking of rebuilding the home, you can skip this consideration. However, if you’re in the market for a house you can move into ASAP, you’ll need to take note of its age. Although older homes have a certain charm that modern homes can’t replicate, chances are that they were built at a time when building codes weren’t as strict. Remember that building codes have changed, and if the home violates the code, you have no choice but to conduct repairs. So, be sure you have the time and money to manage these upgrades. Your property manager should be able to help you ensure compliance with the local building code.
In addition, while an older home may be less expensive, do note that the expenses will pile up as you’ll have to do extensive repairs. The house probably has outdated appliances and other issues that aren’t the cheapest to address. Consider hiring a house inspector to check the property’s condition. That way, you can calculate and consider the costs that come with the house. For instance, if the property costs $300,000 excluding repairs amounting to $50,000, but your budget is only $310,000, you may walk to walk away.
Buying a house isn’t easy as there are several factors involved — each of them having the ability to make or break the deal. That’s why you should seek the opinion of professionals who have decades of real estate success. At Luxury Property Care, we provide investment consultancy services to budding home-buyers in South Florida. Having been in the industry since 2008, we can confidently help you choose the best property for you and your family’s needs.