Buying a house is a big decision. Between your budget, location, style and space, there is so much to think about that it can be overwhelming. However, there are certain key priorities which you should consider before buying a house to ensure you make the best decision possible. Here they are.
Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage
Before you decide to buy a house you need to get your financial house in order. Visit a lender to find out what mortgage you qualify for. In order to do this you’ll need to tell them some of your specific financial information including any money you owe and assets you can use as collateral. This should be step one in order to find out where you stand in terms of buying a house.¹
Think Big Picture
When you are viewing houses and considering possibilities, do your best to think of the big picture. Instead of focusing in one small issues like the type of wallpaper, the color of a room or the placement of some cabinets, look at the overall room layout and floor plan. Renovating the kitchen or taking down a wall is a lot of work and money, whereas repainting the bathroom or moving a bed to a new place is not nearly as hard or pricey.²
The Importance Of Location
There are many reasons that location can be important, ranging from how close it is to work, school, religious services, friends and family. In addition, location can have a major impact on how much traffic you’ll be dealing with, noise levels, safety and how pleasant the overall neighborhood is for you.
For this reason it’s important to scout around different locations and ask your real estate agent for advice. In many cases it can be worth paying a bit more for a location you prefer, just make sure you are still paying what’s in line with average prices in that area and not an inflated cost.³
Ask lots of questions when you are in the market to buy a new house. Ask friends, ask family, ask your realtor. Even if a question seems silly at first, it can often turn out to provide very useful information that will aid you in making your buying decision.
The truth is that there are many aspects of buying a house and each house can have unique aspects from the sale conditions to the home’s history. Asking all sorts of questions doesn’t make you a pest, it makes you a smart and informed home buyer, so ask away!⁴
Even if you’re not sure how long you will be planning to live in the house you’re buying, you should think long-term. Find out about any ongoing issues whether it’s the heating and air-conditioning system, energy leaks from the windows and doors or some issues with the foundation.
Find out about costs like utilities or appliance repairs. All of this will come into play once you live in the house and it’s much better to know about beforehand, especially if some important things in the house need an upgrade or will need one in the near future.¹
Get An Agent
It’s true that realtors take a commission, but this comes off the seller’s profit, not the buyer. The listing agent for the seller isn’t really looking out for you and may even overlook things that he or she should have mentioned in the desire to sell the property. For this reason it’s a good idea to get yourself a realtor who will help you negotiate, arrange home inspections and navigate the overall and sometimes tricky process of buying a home.²