The home buying process can be the most frustrating, exciting, and expensive decision of your life. It can also be hard to figure out where to start. Here are 7 top tips from experts to make the best of your home buying experience:
1) Think about resale. Many buyers think of the “now” — their kids, their jobs, their lifestyles. But all of that can change, and when it does, you will probably be ready for a different house that fits your needs. Think of positive aspects of the home that would be ideal for resale such as hardwood floors or more than one bathroom. Check out this article for what is considered positive for resale value.
2) Avoid “sleeper costs.” People, especially first-time home buyers, will only think of the expense of the mortgage, but there are other “sleeper costs” that affect your budget, too. Remember property taxes, utilities, and HOA dues. Make sure to include these in your potential monthly expenses.
3) Minimize the emotion. Compartmentalizing is difficult for most of us, but by trying to keep emotions neutral, you can make better financial decisions. Yes, you should love the home you buy, but you also don’t want to be strapped with an extravagant mortgage payment that you can’t make because you fell in love outside your budget.
4) Stalk the neighborhood. Sure, your realtor will take you by the house to check out the inside, but you want to see how the area looks, too. Drive around and see what other types of properties are nearby. Are there people hanging out by the street? Are there old cars parked in the yard? Take a drive through the neighborhood at all times of the day and night so you can get an idea of what goes on. After all, you’ll be living in your new home every day.
5) Look beyond the staging. There’s a psychology behind the staging of a house for sale, and it works. On some level, there needs to be some staging; otherwise you won’t be able to imagine the potential of the home and be able to see yourself living there. On the other hand, the arrangement of furniture can be deceptive and make a space seem larger. Don’t fall in love with the furniture that’s already placed. Look at the structures and space to decide if this is where you want to live.
6) Ask for the HOA contract before buying. We covered some of the benefits of buying in a planned community, which included how HOAs can increase your home’s value, but be sure you get the HOA contract before you buy. This way you’ll know who is responsible for what and avoid a potential costly miscommunication in the future.
7) Don’t make any large purchases before you have the keys. This may be one of the most important pieces of advice for home buyers. It is tempting to pick out new furniture, appliances, or even a new car to go with your new house. But until every “i” is dotted and “t” crossed, you should keep an eye on your credit. Large purchases right before buying a home can affect your mortgage rates or disqualify you.
There’s probably no purchase more significant or more emotionally charged than buying your next home, but with these expert tips, you can make smart decisions that will last for years. Contact us to learn more about how Weaver’s Pond’s may be the right choice for you.