8 Tips for Home Buyers: How To Choose a Great Property
Here are some things to consider if you're on the look out to buy a new or used home. These 8 eight common sense home buyer tips will save you time, money, and aggravation.
Once you start shopping for a home -- it’s easy to jump on the first property you drive by, see online, or visit with your real estate agent. Here’s a list of eight solid tips to keep you from buying the wrong house, and to protect you from thousands of dollars of headaches and hassles:
- Find a solid home inspection professional to help you uncover any hidden issues in your possible purchase. Why? Every house has some concerns, even if the problems are not deal-breakers, so it’s better to withhold judgement on your final move-in plans until you know the results of a thorough review of the property. Many of the following tips are connected to a great home inspector’s diligence so find a good one. And always plan to accompany the impartial inspector on his survey of the real estate and ask any questions you have!
- Check the condition of the roof of your future home. If you have to replace the roof too soon on a house or a garage, it’s a very expensive problem to have and might mean you should look elsewhere for your future home.
- Kitchens and bathrooms that have already be remodeled, refurbished, or redone will save you a great deal of time, money, and resources. If you purchase a house thinking “we’ll just redo the bathroom shower, tub, and sink, and the kitchen cabinets, counters, etc...” -- this can be a very expensive proposition. Be sure the home you select has a serviceable bathroom and kitchen so you won’t be forced to immediately remodel areas that you will use every day.
- Make sure you look in all locations of the home including the cellar or basement for hidden mold, water damage, or similar issues. If you purchase a property with these issues, you could be inheriting some of the most major problems homeowners ever face.
- With all the modern conveniences of our high tech lifestyles, you want to be sure that your new home doesn’t suffer from any electrical or wiring deficiencies. Perhaps it will take the inspection professional to let you know if something’s not up to code, but it’s possible to spot some glaring problems on a simple walk through with your realtor or buyer’s agent.
- Home buyers, especially first time house shoppers often spend a great deal of time looking at small details that can easily be changed like drapes, paint, wallpaper, and more and forget to spend enough time thinking about whether a house actually suits their needs based on layout, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. Stay focused on those things that matter and ignore the easily updateable aspects of the home.
- It’s very easy to go online and read all about a city or town’s demographics, schools, and more -- but don’t overlook the information that can be gleaned by meeting some of the neighbors near your future home. Why would even you consider signing a thirty (30) year mortgage without at least getting some information from locals? Just think -- they may candidly tell you about a problem with the home that others might not know -- saving you months of hassles and resources.
- Google maps and other resources are very useful to determine the distance from all of the area’s attractions, features, and resources. Be sure to spend a few minutes calculating how long your commute(s) to work, school, worship, family, grocery stores, malls, etc -- will be. It may not factor into your decision to place an offer, but understanding that this location will add twenty minutes to a morning commute might make a difference to some people.
These tips will save you a great deal of time, aggravation, and money as you search for your new home. Of course many of these details can be subject to negotiation with the seller, and might just mean they need to be completed before you would close on the property. Don’t rush in to a large purchase without knowing all of the facts -- and remember -- there are plenty of other houses to live in if you find a big enough problem. Happy house hunting!