When you’re house hunting, it’s easy to be blindsided by stunning modern kitchens, spacious backyards, and hardwood floors, but it’s important not to let big dreams influence such a major decision.
While a home you have your eye on might look perfect on the surface, there are a lot of factors you might be forgetting to consider, such as the state of the building, the hidden costs, and what the neighborhood might be like.
This article is here to remind you of the non-negotiable rules to follow before committing to buying a house – no matter how beautiful it is.
Rule 1: Research the Location
First up is to consider the location. Remember that where you buy is almost as important as what you buy – the neighborhood you live in and its surroundings will have a huge impact on your daily life.
Consider factors like the nearby schools, grocery stores, healthcare facilities, gyms, restaurants, parks, and other amenities you might want to use. You won’t be living exclusively in your house, so the surroundings need to excite you too!
You should also think about your commute to work, the safety in the area, and even factors like the cost of living, if the area is new to you.
Rule 2: Make Sure It’s in Good Condition
Keep in mind that even in a stunning, modern home, there’s always more than meets the eye. Before committing to any house, it’s vital that you have it professionally assessed to identify any issues in the structural integrity, electrical systems, plumbing, or any other areas where something might be not-quite-right.
Be sure to look for a certified company like Brightside Home Inspections to perform the inspection for you. They’ll examine everything from the roof to the plumbing and let you know of any damage, wear, or issues in the home, so you can make an informed decision.
Rule 3: Check in With Your Priorities
Don’t allow an eye-catching house to distract you from what your true priorities are. Sure, the place might have a huge pool where you can host summer barbeques, but what if it doesn’t have that home office space you really need? Or it doesn’t fit your budget? Or it’s a two-hour drive from your workplace?
Make sure to check in with your priorities before committing. It is a good idea to make a list of what you need and want before you even start looking for a home. If security is one of your top priorities, you’ll want to make sure your home is in a safe neighborhood, and if keeping costs low is important, then make sure you stay within a strict budget.
Rule 4: Consider Resale Value
Even if you’re hoping to live in this potential home forever, you need to be aware and consider what would happen if you wanted or needed to resell in the future.
Resale value will be impacted by things like location, growth, and development in the area, and any upgrades made to the home, amongst other factors. You can influence this if you have any home improvement projects in mind that will increase the value of the property, but you’ll need to research the rest to get a better idea of what your future sales or leasing agreements might look like.
Rule 5: Get to Know Your Potential Neighbors
The people around you (i.e., your neighbors) can have a pretty significant impact on your living experience. Living next to people who are noisy or inconsiderate can become a real pain.
Try to meet the people in the area and chat with them before finalizing your decision. Strike up a conversation and mention that you’re looking at buying nearby. You can even ask them a few questions about the neighborhood to get a feel for what it’s like to live there. Ask for recommendations and figure out anything else you might need to know before moving in.
Rule 6: Assess Your Future Plans
Another important thing to think about is your plan for the future. This can factor in reselling or leasing out the home one day, as already discussed, but it should also take your own future plans into account.
Consider whether you’d like to start a family, grow your existing one, adopt pets, or maybe one day start your own business or work from home. Consider whether or not the house you’re looking at buying will fit into these future plans, or if you might need to move into a bigger or different place if there are significant changes in your life.
Rule 7: Do Your Due Diligence
In addition to your home inspection, you also need to conduct other necessary due diligence before you sign any contracts. Make sure you’ve done as much research as you can about the property’s history.
Try to find out about previous renovations, repairs, and any potential zoning issues you might run into. Make sure you verify the accuracy of property taxes, insurance, and utility bills too.
Remember that being well-informed is an important part of planning and budgeting, and you don’t want to be caught unawares when you could have taken the time to investigate!
Rule 8: Trust Your Gut
Finally, after all the practical considerations, remember to listen carefully to your instincts. Consider how you feel when you step into the home. Does it give you feelings of warmth and comfort?
Can you picture yourself and your family living there happily and making memories? Are you able to envision all your furniture and personal belongings nestled happily in the space?
These considerations are just as important as thinking about your budget and regulations on your property ownership, so don’t forget to pay attention to them too!
House hunting successfully requires a fine balance between practicality and intuition – listen to your gut, but don’t forget to let your brain get involved too.
While this decision is daunting, you’re now equipped with the knowledge that will help you make the right decision. Good luck, home buyer!