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Top Five Things to Consider Before Buying a Home

Are you dreaming about a big house with a pool and yard for the kids to run around in? Or maybe you’re looking for a cute townhouse in the city close to your favorite restaurants and shops? Any way you slice it, buying a new home is a big deal.

You’ve considered location, attended home showings with your real estate agent and scoped out property listings. The hunt for the perfect home can be overwhelming, but we want to help make it a little easier, so we put together a list of five things you should consider when buying a home.

1. Stay Within Budget

It’s important to factor in all of a property’s possible expenses, such as the cost of utilities, any upgrades you’d like to make, in addition to mortgage payments and taxes. If the cost of the house stretches your financial limits, there will be little or no wiggle room for unexpected expenses later.

If you don’t plan to move into a new or recently updated home, it’s important to be realistic about any renovations you’d like to make and how much they’ll cost before committing to a mortgage. A great deal on a ready built home may end up costing you a lot more in the long run depending upon the modifications you’d like to make, but you shouldn’t feel pressured to remodel everything at once. Prioritizing and tackling projects over time will help you get into your new home without blowing up your budget.

2. Ask the Experts

Most of us don’t know a whole lot about real estate purchases, so it’s a good idea to seek help from a professional. The first step is to find a realtor you like and trust. Your realtor will help you find the perfect property, fight for you during negotiations, and help you navigate potential problems. A realtor may even be able to recommend reliable contractors other clients have worked with before.

Home inspectors are another great resource because they can evaluate a residence’s engineering, structure and damage. A thorough home inspection might reveal damage or potential risks and hazards that you should be aware of, like leaky water pipes or cracks in the foundation. These professionals can also inspect the roof for vulnerabilities, look for water damage, check the electrical system and alert you to any issues that could potentially cause problems later on. Identifying these issues ahead of time may also give you a bargaining chip for lowering the purchase price or even having the current owners perform repairs as part of the purchase agreement.

And don’t forget the creepy crawlies…because if the home is infested with terminates, that’s something you’ll want to know so you can get it fixed before completing the sale.

3. Location, Location, Location

The most important thing when buying your home is, “location, location, location,”. If the house itself is perfect but in a bad area, you might decide to keep looking. The location will also influence the resale value of the property. That’s why it’s critical to research the area before signing on the dotted line.

Online searches can help homebuyers obtain detailed information about neighborhoods and uncover useful facts relevant to the decision process, like access to recreation and entertainment, the quality of the school district, community activities and the general pace of life. It’s also a good idea to check the crime reports to assess safety.

4. Insurance Costs

It might be tempting to ignore homeowners insurance altogether when you’re in the midst of the home-buying process, but needless say it is one of the most important factors when purchasing your home.

Requesting a Comprehensive Underwriting Quote report can help. This report can help you to determine the amount it will cost to insure your home.

There are several factors that can affect your home insurance rates these are the size and age of the home, type of roof, quality of construction materials used in the kitchen, bathrooms and flooring, the presence of a swimming pool, and the coverage limits and deductible selected.

And remember if you’re getting a home loan, the lender will require that you get homeowners insurance, so be sure to factor this cost into your decision-making process.

5. Does the Home Fit Your Needs?

No scenario for purchasing a home is worse than discovering a few weeks or months after moving in that you’ve made the wrong choice. Remember, it’s critical to think about the future while you’re shopping for a new home. Are you planning to start a family? Do you have a green thumb for gardening? Putting some thought into these questions might save you from second guessing down the road.

And don’t forget to test the commute to and from work. It might be a lot longer than you thought, so it’s good to know that before you buy the home.

Recognize that purchasing a house is a stressful process. Keeping these tips in mind will help equip you in your home search and give you a better chance of finding the perfect fit.

Happy house hunting!

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