Every American probably has though to themselves (or out loud) at least once that owning a home would be magnificent! A place you can modify and improve upon for years to come.
Some even jump online to look at listings and dream about their ideal home.
But, hold up. There are some things you should consider before planting your roots down anywhere.
How big is your family?
If you’re single, or only dating or even married, but do not have children..
You should think out your future plans before you make a commitment to buy a 2 bedroom home when you’re going to have 3-4 children.
It’s always an option to sell and upgrade to a bigger home, but the hassle may not be worth it if you could just find a big enough home to begin with.
Having an extra bedroom if you decide not to have another child is not a bad option to have. Since the extra space could accommodate a home gym, an office, or simply a spare bedroom for when family is in town.
What is your profession?
If you’re looking to be in a well paid profession; perhaps you’re going to be a brain surgeon, or you’re finishing up law school, you might not want to settle in a place like Arthur, Nebraska.
Settling down in the right place can be a complicated decision; however, it’s worth while to think very seriously before making a possible 30 year commitment.
Do you plan to stay put? Would you consider relocating in the future?
If you’re not thrilled with the idea of committing yourself (and your family) to one place forever, you may want to rethink home buying.
Planning for a future purchase may be a better tactic; doing so will allow you to save a bigger down payment for a later time. By saving for a while longer, you’ll be further along in life, likely with more direction and security in your profession.
While buying a home may be an exciting process, and something we all feel we should do, it may be wiser to rent until you’ve got your life in track.
Renting allow higher mobility, giving you time to decide your future. Renting is made even easier today by businesses like AirBnB, where you could rent a home in a different state every 3 months if traveling is your idea of finding your path.
So, you’re set on buying a house NOW. Okay, check out the tips below:
- Neighbors – Check out the neighborhood and meet your could-be neighbors. These are the people who you’ll have to see every weekend mowing their lawn in a speed-o. Can you handle that?
- “Sold As Is” – Look at the house closely; and then STILL get a home inspector that you trust to go over the home carefully as well. You do not want to buy into a basket case that will need a new roof or foundation in six months.
- Plumbing – Where our water comes from is important. Will you be paying for a public water system? That leads to the next question, what kind of sewage disposal does the home utilize?
- Be Cool – In areas of hotter climate, you’ll want to be able to keep a cool head. Outdated central air cooling systems won’t help you, which will cause you to sweat it out, or rely on cheap window units.
- Heating up – In brutal cold, the furnace from 1968 in the basement will probably kick out when you need it most. Don’t rule out a home like this, but price out an upgrade if you’re still considering the place.
- Uncle Sam – Check out the tax records. Have the taxes steadily increased? What age was the previous owner, did they get any tax breaks that you won’t see?
- FEES! – Are there any HOA (Home Owners Association) fees for the neighborhood you’re looking at?
- Rush Hour? – Stop by at different times of the day to see the traffic patterns. You’ll want to know if that pack of motorcycles terrorize the neighborhood at the same time every Saturday afternoon.
- Suburban Paradise – If you’re not in a city, what kind of towns are close by? Will you be able to get your weekly groceries without packing a lunch for an entire day trip?
- Safety – Consider researching the crime rate in the area. It would be good to know you can lock your vehicle without a hoodlum breaking your window to steal the change out of your ash tray.
The fact of the matter is, that home buying is a very stressful experience, but it can be rewarding by taking the time to weigh the options.
Remember to choose a place that will serve every value in your life. Great location with good schools, acceptable tax rate, and with decent travel distance to towns and highways.