Home Buyer Checklist: 10 Ways To Know You Are Choosing The Right Home
October 7, 2015
Buyers will search the internet non stop until they find the best looking house in their budget. That can easily turn someone into an emotional buyer. An emotional buyer can run into pitfalls because they don't do all of their homework. I have listed 10 things to think about before you purchase your home..
1. Transportation / Commute Depending on the way you would like to get to and from work is definitely something to consider. If you drive a car you have to consider how far you wouldn't mind traveling everyday. In Atlanta just about everywhere you go you there is a long commute. If you don't mind the long commute you should estimate how much money in gas you will spend per month. Your monthly amount in gas should be calculated in your monthly expenses. If you are catching public transportation, you should find out where are the closest bus stops, train stations, or shuttle.
2. School System If you have kids and would prefer for them to be in a good school, do your research on the school systems. If you do not have any kids you may not think about it, but you should. If you plan on having kids in the future you wouldn't want to move again because you find out late that you do not like the schools system. Also, living in a good school district adds value to your home.
Determine what type of neighborhood you would like to live in. Do you want an older established neighborhood? A newer neighborhood? An active neighborhood close to shopping, parks, or coffee houses? Do you want a house in a quite area, or do you want amenities? These are all questions you should ask yourself.
4. Homeowner's Association (HOA)
Make sure that you know how much the HOA fees will be. In townhouses and condos they can get very high in some areas. In single family home neighborhoods you need to know what is and what is not allowed in that neighborhood. For example, if you have an RV, will it be permitted on your property, what types of pets are allowed, are gardens allowed, are satellite dishes ok? Some HOA's are more strict than others. You need to know everything that is and is not permitted before you purchase in that particular neighborhood.
5. Landscaping Cost
Make sure that you can handle the yard work. If you will not be the one handling the yard, can you afford to have a landscaping company take care of it? Find out how much they will charge for your yard per month. You don't want more yard work than you can handle. Especially if you are in a strict HOA neighborhood. A yard that is not manicured can lead to fines.
Just because you may be able to approve for a huge home it may not be wise to get one. You really have to factor in the cost of running the AC and heat. Cooling, heating, and gas bills for a large house can cost anywhere from $400 and up per month. If you can't afford the utility bills, you may not need a really big house even if you have been approved for one. You don't want to work just to pay bills. If you do that, you will not be able to afford necessary household maintenance.
7. Market Value Review the real estate market in that neighborhood. You want to see how many houses have sold, what is the average price ranges, or if there has been any foreclosures. All of this can affect your house value. You can always ask your real estate agent (hopefully that's me..lol) for that information.
8. Property Taxes
Make sure that you know the current tax rates, and if there has been any changes in that rate recently. You really need to know if you will be able to afford the taxes every year. You do not want a tax lien on your property.
9. Future Developments / Building Plans
Find out if there will be any major developments coming to the neighborhood that may increase your taxes or can have an impact on the value of your home.
10. Crime And Your Safety Check out the different crime statistics in the city you are considering buying in. If you need a place to start, you can never go wrong with Google. And you should always drive by the neighborhood at night a couple of times.
To sum things up, do not be an emotional buyer. Do your homework so you will not have buyers remorse.
Home Buyer's Guide Part 1
March 9, 2014
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