Even in low inventory markets, homebuyers have many homes to choose from. There may be more than one home that meets your criteria, however, there are several things to look over and consider when choosing the right house to buy.
The home’s condition is a big point of consideration. It is important to inspect a home inside and out to uncover potential issues. Getting a home inspection performed by a licensed inspector should bring any defects to light. Once you know about a home’s defects, you will be able to make an informed decision about moving forward with the purchase.
In addition to the condition, there are many other things to consider. The home’s functionality, maintenance costs, neighbors, need for updates, and other factors should come into focus. After all, the home has to be affordable and allow you and your family to live comfortably.
Let’s dig into all the essential factors that will help you determine if a house is right for you.
How the home functions specifically for your family is crucial. Each family has a unique lifestyle and requirements for functionality. When selecting your home, carefully consider if it works for your needs.
Don’t discount the importance of the flow of the floorplan. Not only in regard to your daily living habits but also when it comes to resale value. Over the past 20 years, open floorplan has become more desirable. This type of concept is more conducive to the modern family lifestyle. Homes with smaller, closed-off rooms are less desirable and thus less valuable.
Break out the measuring tape! Make sure the bedrooms and living areas are large enough for your intended use of them. You may have large furniture that won’t fit in a smaller area. Perhaps you are planning to have two of your children share a bedroom. In that case, you will need a guest bedroom that is a little larger than average. One more consideration would be if you plan to have a multi-use space. That would also require a larger room.
First, make sure the home you are considering has the correct number of guest rooms needed. Next, consider if those rooms are large enough. Another thing to think about is the layout of where the guest rooms are in the house. If you plan to have your elderly parents stay with you, having a downstairs guest room will be imperative.
The affordability of a home is not just in regard to the price and monthly payments. Other factors will include maintenance, repairs, updates, and utilities among others.
The cost to properly maintain a home is often underestimated. Features such as swimming pools, lush landscaping, or additional outdoor structures all have a cost to maintain. Be sure to do your homework to determine how much maintaining various features will cost.
You may be open to buying a home that is not in perfect condition. Doing this will likely save you money on the purchase price. The downside is that there will certainly be repairs that need to be made shortly after you move in. Consider the costs of making these needed repairs and replacements. These costs can be pricey and they add up quickly. Replacing a roof, A/C unit, or water heater can take a chunk out of your budget. Get estimates and be prepared for whatever comes up.
Go over the list of updates that the home needs and factor in the costs. Some updates can be done over time, but there may be some projects that can’t wait. If the list is manageable and the updates don’t break the bank, then the house could be a good fit for you.
Each neighborhood within a particular area will have its own make-up of people and personalities. Neighborhoods and sub-divisions may also have different tax rates, monthly HOA dues, and HOA rules & regulations.
Who are your neighbors?
Before committing to purchase a home, take some time to walk around the neighborhood. Doing this will give you an idea of how your neighbors maintain their homes and utilize their properties. It will also create an opportunity to meet some of the people that you will be living next to. It may really come down to a gut feeling about whether or not you think you and your family will be comfortable living there.
What is the property tax rate?
There are areas of the country where property tax rates and special assessments vary in different communities. Be sure to research what your property tax bill will be. Buying a home with a higher tax rate and special assessments can put stress on your finances.
Is there an HOA?
Living in an HOA isn’t for everyone. On the other hand, some homeowners prefer living in communities governed by an HOA. There are often monthly dues required when living in an HOA. Is this a cost that fits into your monthly budget? There are also rules and regulations that you will have to abide by. If these regulations are violated, hefty fines will be assessed by the association. It is so important to educate yourself about the pros and cons of living in an HOA.
Amount of Space
Does the home have enough space for you? Will you and your family be able to live comfortably? Will you have enough room for all of your furnishings, vehicles, and other personal items? Is your family growing? If so, consider if the home will accommodate your growing family.
The amount of closet and storage space in a home shouldn’t be underestimated when making your decision. If you don’t have enough storage space, it is likely that your items will overflow into your living space. The other option is to rent a storage unit for the items that don’t have space for.
Room to Grow
If you plan to grow your family, you will want to have enough bedrooms and space for that expansion. Whether you are planning to have more children, adopt pets, or have older parents live with you, be sure you have room to grow.
Dynamic Use Areas
Often times, family members will have different needs for how common spaces are used. Give thought to whether the home has spaces that can accommodate more than one use. For example, if you don’t have a dedicated room for an office, you may need to use an area of the kitchen or a bonus room for conducting work or school activities. Other common multi-use spaces include dining rooms, basements, lofts, garages, and back yards to name a few.
Making the Final Decision
Buying a home is a big deal. Buying the right home for you and your family is a really big deal. There are so many things to factor into the decision. Asking yourself questions such as, “Can I afford this home?’ or “is this home large enough?” Other considerations could be relative to the amount of natural light, the flow of the floorplan, or the cost of maintenance. Doing your research, asking questions, and being patient will go a long way in assuring that you choose to buy a home that is perfect.