Are you looking for a new house? If so, then you have a golden opportunity to find yourself a home that meets all your needs and supports you in meeting your goals.
When trying to find a new house, do not just look at what is available on the market. Decide what would make a house the right house for you, then go out and find it. If you do not find what you are looking for at first, be patient. Do not settle for a house you will ultimately be unhappy to live in for the next several years.
Buying a new house is a very big financial decision and one you will have to live with until you can reasonably afford to move again. Even if you know you will be able to move in a few years, it is better to wait for your ideal home, so you do not have to go through the process of selling your home, which may result in you losing money.
Remember you do not need to conduct your search for the perfect home on your own. You can always have a real estate agent help you. A real estate agent is typically paid a share of the commission earned by the house seller’s real estate agent after the home is sold. You never have to pay any money out of pocket for their contacts and services.
Factors to Consider to Find the Right Home
When looking for your ideal home, it helps to know what would make a home right for you. Cost and affordability are certainly key factors, but there are others:
- How many rooms and floors should it have?
- How large would you like the yard to be, and what sort of landscape?
- What sort of orientation of house to the property interests you?
- What factors in a home matter to you most?
Consider how a home might be heated or cooled, such as by oil, propane or electricity, and which you would prefer. Think about the walls and floors, and whether linoleum, tile, hardwood or wall-to-wall carpeting is for you. Think about attics, basements, patios, decks, stairways and storage. It is also a good idea to think about how you plan to utilize the home and whether a particular home is suitable for that sort of use.
You may also wish to consider aesthetics, in terms of the style of the home, including the size, shape and color of the home. Are you willing to remodel to make a home meet your specifications? Once you have some of the answers to these questions you can move on to an active search.
What to Look for When Browsing Home Listings Online
Online home listings can tell you a lot about a house. They can show you pictures of the house from the inside and out, as well as from many different angles. They might even show you what the exterior looks like during different seasons. An online home listing will tell you the materials the home is constructed of, including roofing, siding, flooring and foundation.
It will tell you what sort of utilities the home uses. Other useful indicators to look for in online home listings are the square footage of the home and the cost per square footage based on the current asking price on the home.
Additionally, when you are reading online listings and find yourself falling in love with the photos, take a minute and step back. Read the content. Is there anything missing? For example, you read an ad that talks about the great size of the basement, but there are no pictures of the actual basement. Also, photos can often be misleading even if they are included. Depending on the angle, the camera can make rooms look bigger than they actually are. When reading online ads you must take the time to read the content, look at the dimensions of the rooms given and try to review the listing with a cool head. Ideally, when reading an online listing look for the following:
- At least five or more photos included.
- Do the photos match the description?
- Where is the home located?
Reading Between the Lines
Owners, or their agents want to make a sale. To that end they will often try to sugar-coat the home’s less than stellar aspects. Learn what is meant by the following words:
- Cozy/Cute equals small.
- Stores, shops and amenities minutes away, equals a drive.
- Bring your ideas, equals needs some work.
- Newer, equals not new at all.
Considering a Home’s Neighborhood
The physical structure of a house is only part of the picture when it comes to the suitability of a home. The neighborhood where the house is set has an equal influence. When considering a home’s neighborhood, consider whether it will be accessible to:
- Social outlets.
- Natural settings.
Consider the crime rate, the walkability and the upkeep of the neighborhood, as well. One efficient way to assess the feasibility of a neighborhood for you to live in is to walk around it some, at different times and on different days. Get a feel for a neighborhood like you get a feel for a house as you walk around its corridors. There are a number of sources you can access to see how safe the neighborhood is. A couple of the better sources are CrimeReports.com and Safewise.com.
Pros and Cons of HOAs
Some houses are in organized communities, and to buy a home in those communities, you may need to join a homeowners association (HOA). An HOA is valuable in keeping a community clean, safe, orderly and replete with facilities and services. It can also help neighbors remain neighborly. HOAs can be an imposition too, involving themselves in decisions other homeowners have the freedom to make on their own if they lived somewhere that did not have an HOA. There are usually monthly or annual HOA dues to pay.
Why are home inspections important?
No home buyer should ever close on a house without first getting a home inspection. Fortunately, most banks and lenders require it. Even if you are buying the home For Sale by Owner (FSBO) with cash or owner-financed, you should still insist on a home inspection as a contingency of sale. If your home inspector discovers anything undesirable about the home, you have several options. You can back out of the deal, require the seller handle the problem or negotiate a reduced sale price or seller return of funds after the sale to cover it.