The First 5 Most Important Tips To Consider When Purchasing Your First Home
So you’re thinking of buying a house but before you do, you need to know a bit more pieces of important information besides finding the right real estate agent. Find a good real estate agent is one step to the game and can generally be an easy process especially if you rely on the word of friends and family but when the decision is made, the following 5 important tips should also be at the forefront of your buying process.
Of course you have to go through the process of finding a decent realtor, getting pre-approved and the whole financial shebang, but this article tries to dig into the deeper matters for you – matters that if overlooked could become giant pitfalls – pitfalls that could have definitely been avoided.
If you take and follow these tips, it will definitely make your home buying and the time after the purchase much smoother, and you’ll become that much more knowledgable than you previously were about the entire process.
Home buy tip #1 – assess your surroundings
Even though you’ve found your top real estate agent, you’re going to want to obtain, either from him, the city or through the home seller them self some kind of report of the major surroundings of your property.
It’s always a good idea to know of previous landslides, whether or not the area is prone to flooding or the home itself is.
Do you want to live in a home that’s susceptible to being covered by massive snowy drifts during the winter?
Do large swarms of bees and other insects tend to nest in the area? Could the land you’re considering living on have on-going problems with environmental erosion?
You also would do well to really get a handle of how many local amenities are in the surrounding area. Do you like the sounds of kids cheering in the school yard at 7:30am? Do you plan of having children, and don’t want to live in front of a busy street?
What you need to do is put together a check-list of everything you want and don’t want related to where you’ll purchase your home. The look and beauty is one important factor, but living there for years or the rest of your life in peace is another factor to consider.
Home buying tip #2 – be aware of potential hidden costs
If you’re buying a home, you definitely expect it to be in good livable condition but that may not always be the case once you’ve moved in.
Buying is one thing but living in a home is another and if unsuspecting problems have arose it only leads to heavy mental stress and a bend in your pocket book.
Were there any problems with leaky pipes in the past? Was the home at any given time in the past a victim of pest intrusions or the damage to wildlife entries? Is the insulation in the attic up to code? How’s the condition of, and the age of the water-heater?
In an article from the Toronto Star that decently details everything a potential home buyer needs to be aware of before the purchase goes down. My advice is to take heed of this information as it could help save you thousands of dollars.
Even governmental policy can change, and then affect your peace and well being in the home you’ve purchased. We know a couple we worked with whom purchased a home in Waterdown Ontario, enjoyed their low taxes, and a few years later, the City of Hamilton purchased Waterdown.
Needless to say, their property taxes went up. Little did they, their real estate agent or anyone for that matter know before hand that event if this nature would have taken place. Now that home owner’s budget was drastically changed and the purchased didn’t turn out to be as positive as they thought it would always be. It’s true that Buyer beware can’t foresee all potential pitfalls.
The number 1 way of ensuring you won’t have a slew of future costs to pay out after moving into your home is by setting up an extensive home inspection. I can’t stress this enough. Two years ago, one of our friends in Paris Ontario purchased the most gorgeous home only to find in less than two years later that there was massive due to wildlife entries in their attic and 4 big entry points on their roof.
The cost to pay for these repairs was “through the roof” and needless to say a pre-emptive inspection of the home would have done wonders to their peace of mind.
A new home is one thing, and a “fixer-upper” is another. As a home buyer you have to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into before you put one dollar on the table.
Home buying tip #3 – access the local traffic
We briefly touched on a few paragraphs back but elaborating on this subject is important, especially if you have kids, teenagers or like to take long neighbourhood walks with your family.
From an immediate take of the local traffic in the area, you can easily determine the amount you may have to contend with on a daily basis – it may me a lot, it may be little, or traffic could run through your area day and night and at all kinds of different speeds.
The traffic type is something you as a home owner needs to figure out what you can live with. Your real estate agent can also provide you with this information, but there’s usually one factor that no one knows of, and that’s the future.
If heavy traffic is indeed a problem for you, and would compel you to live far away from, you have to ask yourself whether the area in which you’re considering a home purchase is in an area of town susceptible future planning development.
If the neighbourhood you’re looking at seems like it could be a part of future growth and development, you may have to endure years of construction working sounds, heavy construction traffic, attempts by the government to claim parts of your property or even force you to change parts of your home. Yes it can go that far.
The long story short is, if you’re looking for a nice, quiet and established community to live in your best bet is to pay a little more and rest assured that the only real local problem you have is getting to the nearby grocery store.
Home buying tip #4 – stay true to your lifestyle
When you’re purchasing a home with a spouse or partner, you both must be on the same page. No one wants to get a divorce and although there’s always room for a little give and take, most people have major needs that need to be fulfilled.
If you’re a regular jogger and appreciate the quite hum of the backroad then moving to a rural area is probably perfect but if your husband enjoys having weekend cook-outs with the neighbours but can’t find any for miles, eventually there’s going to be a problem. You can see where I’m going with this.
This advice isn’t the typical advice you’d find in a document related to Buyer Beware, but it’s probably one of the best tips you’ll find out there. Couples can work out quirky problems related to their home but if one of them is feeling that they’re missing out on an important need for their life, living in an immaculate house won’t make a change in the world. There are homes for sale all over every city, and the both of you need to make sure you’re both living your dreams else potential problems of a more serious nature will arise.
The best way to combat the potential for these types of issues from arising after you’ve purchased a home is to get a checklist together with all your wants and desires with respect to the inside of your home, the outside, and the community. Once you’ve both agreed on what you definitely want, and can easily let go off, make the move in finding the home both of you want.
Home buying tip #5 – visit more than one open house
There’s a common tendency among new home buyers to get extremely exited about the first home they see. This is normal and a part of the reason this happens is because most open house homes are staged quite well, and coupled with the desire to “get out” of your current home make a great recipe for choosing the first home you see.
Shop around. Go on the internet and look for listing like MLS listings and open houses, and even drive in and around the neighbourhood you’re interested in living in to see if there are any open houses happening or even if there are houses for sale. It’s not the craziest idea to get out of your car and ask a home owner who’s got their house of for sale if you can look around.
If they’re not terribly busy, they’d probably be more than happy to give you a tour of the home especially considering that they’re selling it.
Buying a home is considered one of the top ten most stressful life changing events a person can go through; and it’s true. Anyone who’s listed their home for sale or has bought a home can tell you; it’s a lot of work, but if you contemplate some of the scenarios I mentioned in this paper, you’ll make your move much less stressful, and you and your family will be able to enjoy your new home for years.