The decision to buy a home is not one to be made lightly. It is a major investment and it’s something that requires a great deal of thought on your part before making the decision to tie yourself down. Below are 10 things to consider when buying a home. It’s a good idea to carefully evaluate this list before you spend your hard-earned money.
Renovation Potential: DIY s. Contractors
If you’re purchasing a home that is relatively new, this may not be a big deal to you. Conversely, it may be at the top of your list if you’re considering purchasing a home that’s older. It all comes down to cost. Contractors are expensive, especially when they are highly skilled. It’s tempting to try to do everything on your own but unless you are well-versed in plumbing and electrical work, you would probably be better off to hire a contractor. Are you really saving enough money on the purchase price to pay for all the contract work that you will need or are you just digging yourself deeper into a money pit that is seemingly endless?
Damage from Former Owners
Unfortunately, not everyone is cautious about the things they do inside their home. It’s important to know if the home you are considering buying has cracks in sheetrock or carpets that are so badly stained they will have to be replaced. Are there leaks in the roof or does the plumbing leak? If the house has a basement, it’s imperative that you also look there to see if there is any type of water damage that’s visible. Last but certainly not least, you need to know if the home’s former occupants were smokers. This can present a number of health problems and often requires a complete renovation of the home.
Hiring an Inspector
A lot of people have a tendency to refrain from doing this because it costs money. However, it can also save you a lot of money in the long run. That’s because an inspector knows what to look for and where to look. Without an inspector, there is always a chance that there might be something seriously wrong with the home that you’ve missed. An inspector can help you have more peace of mind about purchasing the home because you know exactly where you stand before any money is actually spent.
Obviously, the location of a home can make a huge difference. In fact, you might be more excited about a home that isn’t exactly the way you had dreamed it would be if it’s in an ideal location. On the other hand, a home that is perfect in virtually every way may not feel so perfect if it’s in a location that drives you insane. Everybody has their own idea of the perfect location. For some, it’s in the city and for others, the country works best. It’s important that you find a home that’s in a location you can enjoy as opposed to trying to force yourself to live in an area that you know you won’t be happy in to begin with.
The “10-Year” Test
Remember, homes are expensive. Ideally, you want to stay there at least 10 years in order to keep from losing your shirt, so to speak. As a result, it’s important to seriously consider whether or not you can envision yourself and your family living in that home for the next 10 years. If that doesn’t seem feasible, it’s probably best that you keep looking until you find a home that better fits your needs.
History of the Home
Some houses don’t really have a lot of history and others are rich in it. It’s a good idea to know whether the home you are considering purchasing has been the subject of a fire in the past, as this can dramatically impact the home’s structural integrity and its value. Although it seems dark, it’s also a good idea to know if there have been any prior deaths in the home and if so, why those deaths occurred. Some people don’t really seem to be bothered by this sort of thing but for others, it could be the difference between purchasing a home or quickly moving on to look at other options.
It is imperative that you know whether or not the home you are considering is sitting in a floodplain. That means that it is far more likely to flood than homes which are not located in a floodplain. This will affect your ability to get insurance and the amount of money you pay for it once you do get it. It also means that you might be spending a lot of money down the road doing repairs and renovations due to repeated flooding.
You want a home that is secure. It’s important to take a close look at the locks and the way the home is designed. Does it feel safe or does it practically invite someone to break in? By the same token, consider what type of weather typically occurs in the area where the home is located. If the home is in an area where tornadoes or other types of severe weather are common, it’s a good idea to purchase a home that already has an existing shelter. Otherwise, you could be looking at several thousand dollars to install one yourself.
Room to Grow
Remember the 10-year test? Consider whether or not your ability to see yourself there for the next 10 years might change if you have more children. You definitely want the house to have enough space for you and your loved ones to grow in. That means considering the possibility that more children might come along or that adult children may move back in. It also means planning for the possibility of moving elderly parents into the home so that they can be cared for properly.
Proximity to School, Work and Entertainment
How close is the house to a good school? Is your work right around the corner or will you have to drive for an hour to get there? Are there entertainment venues and restaurants nearby? All of these things will factor into your decision to purchase a home so it is important to get to know the area as well.
By considering these 10 things, you can gain a better idea of whether or not a particular house could potentially be a good fit for you. If it meets all the criteria, it may be worth taking a second look.