The home you found might appear to have the right features and price but before you make an offer there are some other factors you should consider.
Sometimes when we want something so badly, we might not always ask the questions we should. Since this is one of the largest financial investments most of us will make in a lifetime, taking a step back and having one more look is probably a good idea.
Have you considered the items below?
*Have an Inspection – Most homes have a defect; some are obvious, most are fixable. Knowing what could potentially need fixed can help you negotiate a better price now. Inspections for lead paint, radon, and pests are also strongly recommended.
* Ask for utility bills – Homes with high ceilings or glass walls might just break your monthly heating/cooling budget and maintaining a beautiful, but elaborate landscape could cause your water bill to skyrocket. All of these should be considered in your monthly expenses.
* Is there an Association? – An association that will keep lawns mowed in summer or walks shoveled in winter could be a very nice perk. As association that organizes community functions also shows that the residents care about their neighborhood.
* Talk to Neighbors – It might be nice to know how many residents are homeowners versus renters.
* Visit at various times – A seemingly quiet street now may be noisy during morning or evening rush hours. The school across the street may appear quiet over the summer but that could change during the school year.
* Look through newspaper archives – Do a little research to see if the area you are considering has any “skeletons” in its closet. Is it prone to water contamination problems or are their future plans to run a power line through your back yard? It pays to be informed.
* Examine taxes closely – Don’t just ask to see the current tax bills, but look at past bills as well. Does this municipality re-appraise homes frequently, leading to increased taxes? Is the local school funded by property taxes? This could be another cause for tax increases.
* Check with City Hall – Check into the property and neighborhood zoning. Also look for any easements or liens that may be connected to this property. Your realtor can help you with the research.
* Reconsider the “options” – Do you really need the in-ground pool? Can you afford the costs to maintain it? Can you live with just a one-car garage or on-street parking? Consider these items again before you buy.
* Explore – Get to know the area around the home. Are you close to an airport or fire station where noise could be a factor at all hours of the day and night? Is the home close to an agricultural area where smells or airborne dust could cause problems? Look beyond the streets of the neighborhood for other potential “deal-breakers”.
Try your best to be impartial and un-emotional when re-evaluating the home. This may be hard to do, but you will be glad that you took the extra time and put just a little more thought into it.
Your home purchase should fill you with joy, excitement, and happiness;
not leave you with buyer’s remorse!