When searching for a home to purchase, sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the excitement and forget about practical matters that can have an impact on your finances as well as your future satisfaction with your home. There are some practical issues that should be reviewed before deciding on which home is right for you and your family.
Consider your Future
While it is simple to not think past the present, it is a good idea to think about your family size going forward. Before purchasing a home that you may outgrow in five years, consider what you may need for space in a few years. This may mean not only thinking about the number of bedrooms in a home but also about the size of the yard and other critical areas of the home.
Consider the neighborhood
Neighborhood demographics play a role in deciding what home is right for you and your family. Not only should you consider the age of the other residents in the neighborhood, other things should be considered as well. For example, how close are you to schools, shopping and your current employment.
Home Condition Matters
Some home buyers think that buying a “fixer-upper” is a great idea because they can remodel as they see fit putting in their own personal touches. However, these homes can be money traps and can turn a dream home into a nightmare. When considering a property that needs work, consider asking a contractor for estimates on repairs before deciding to purchase a home.
Easements and Zoning
Most people automatically assume that if they are purchasing a home that the neighborhood is zoned residential. However, in some older neighborhoods, there may be mixed zoning that allows for a combination of residential and commercial property. This may have an adverse impact on property values when a sale is being considered. Easements may impact your property so it is a good idea to determine if the property you are considering is subject to easements before purchasing.
Costs of Ownership
Some potential homeowners overlook some common costs of ownership. This includes property taxes, insurance payments, and depending on the type of home, association fees. Additionally, heating and electric costs may increase as well depending on if the home is an upgrade from the current living situation. Make sure that you carefully investigate the true cost of home ownership including utility estimates before you settle on the home of your dreams.
While buying a home is an emotional decision for most people, taking a breather and allowing common sense to prevail can save hours of searching, future problems, and thousands of dollars that you can save for other expenses. Make sure that you think with your head versus allowing your heart to take over and suffer from buyer’s remorse later. Make sure that you know what questions to ask when buying a home.
Jon Engle is a freelance blogger specializing in home buying and apartment living tips. He spends much of his time reviewing new home communities and new home builders including these new homes for sale in Houston.