Buying a home is a major purchase and also an investment, so making sure you’re buying the right house is crucial. Before you sign the legal documents making you both owner and borrower, you want to be positive that you’re purchasing the best house for you and your family. But how do you know?
Keep reading for a checklist of questions you can ask yourself to find out if you really are buying the best house and one that you will be very happy with for years.
1. Is the Location Right?
From school districts to your potential commute length, location is a big factor in a home purchase. While many home buyers settle for less-than-optimal locations because of price, you should ask yourself if you’re making too much of a location sacrifice to get the home you want.
Proximity to stores, neighborhood safety areas, general appearance, and other considerations related to the location are important factors.
2. Is it Worth the Money?
Before buying any home, you should check the property values of other similar houses and property sizes in the nearby area. Get a feel for that particular market and you’ll be able to see if your potential new home is actually worth the asking price.
If you can, ask your real estate agent to show you other homes in the area at comparable price points. From these viewings, you should be able to glean your home’s appropriate value.
Also, one major condition of financing is home appraisal. This means the house will need to be professionally appraised before you can secure a mortgage. The house appraiser will also be able to provide you a close estimate of what the home is worth.
3. Will There Be Enough Space?
So often, home buyers purchase a structure that fits their needs right now and neglect consideration of likely needs for the long-term. If you have a growing family, that two-bedroom bungalow isn’t going to last you long. Or when your kids are finishing school and moving out, you may not need that five-bedroom house with two rec rooms.
When buying a home, you need to think not only about your family’s needs right now, but also 8-10 years from now.
4. Can I Improve?
If you’re settling for a house because of price, ask yourself if there’s room for improvement in the future? For example, if you’re sacrificing closet space for more bedrooms, can you envision a way to install closets down the line? Or if the kitchen’s too small, is it feasible to knock down a wall and open it up?
Sacrificing preferences on a home is okay, but either look for opportunities to enhance the existing structure, or figure ways in advance to allow yourself an exit strategy.
5. Will I be Able to Resell?
All real estate should be viewed as an investment – even your place of residence. So, while you may be able to save money by purchasing in an area with lower property values, will that also likely mean you’ll be stuck with a house you can’t sell when you hope to move?