Buying a home is a big milestone in a person’s life. You are setting your roots in a particular city, and spending a lot of money to do so. The median price for a home in the USA is almost $350,000 and in most cases, it is the biggest purchase most people will ever make.
If you are spending this much, you want to make sure you do your homework and research. If you buy a home without putting the time in, it can end horribly and leave you in a very difficult situation. With that in mind, this article is going to go over five things to make sure you know when buying a house.
How Old it is
First and foremost, you need to know the age of the home. While an older home certainly isn’t bad, over time, the way things have been done has changed. Different materials have been used, new safety measures have been adopted and several more have changed.
An older home may not have these, which could be dangerous in some cases, or make your home insurance very expensive. Always find out the age of a home before you buy, and do some digging on what sorts of upgrades have been done.
Of course, if you buy new construction, you won’t have to worry about how old a home is and can be confident that all of the materials are new and not worn out. Go to the blog article if you want to learn more about some of the pros and cons of buying a new construction home.
The Value of the Home
Next, you want to learn about the value of a home. This is where you look at the home and all of its features to compare it to other homes in the area and try to decipher its value. You will look at the square footage, the age, the yard, the electricity/plumbing, the fixtures, and any renovations that have been done.
While getting an exact value may be hard, you should have a rough idea of what a fair price might be, so you don’t get taken advantage of.
However, just because you are aware of the true value of a home, doesn’t mean you will get it for that price. Depending on the market, you could be stuck paying more or could get it for less. For example, in a very hot market, homes may often sell for much more than their value due to the high levels of competition.
Know What You Can Afford
Budgeting is an important part of the home-buying process. Homes can be very cheap, while others can cost millions. You need to know what you can afford, and the only shop for homes that are within that range. If you begin to look at homes that are too expensive, you could tempt yourself to make a bad financial decision.
Also, just because the bank will approve you for a mortgage of a certain amount, doesn’t mean that you should go with that amount. Do your own research taking in to account your income, other bills, and how much you have saved up.
Know the Inner Workings of the Home
While how the home looks are important, this actually isn’t the most important part of the home. Changing out the paint, a few appliances or the flooring is generally quite simple. It is what is behind the walls, ceiling, and floors that you often need to think about.
You need to think about things like the foundation, the electrical, and the plumbing. Some of the first things you should look for are a structurally sound foundation, safe and updated electrical work, and a solid plumbing system. Fixing these after the fact can be very expensive, and take a lot of time and work.
Be Aware of the Costs Involved
While the mortgage is certainly the largest cost involved with home ownership, it certainly isn’t the only one. There are many other costs you need to be aware of. This includes closing costs, paying for a home inspection, your down payment, insurance, and many others.
The exact amount varies, but these can easily reach into the tens of thousands when all is said and done. If you are not prepared for these, it has the potential to put a serious strain on your finances.
In conclusion, the more you know about a home and your financial situation, the better you will be able to find the right house for your needs.
Contributed by Guest Writer