5 Things to Consider When Buying a Home

by Mike on August 19, 2013

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Buying a home can be one of life’s grandest moments. It’s easy to get swept away when you see the roomy walk-in closets, shady backyard, and all those kitchen cabinets. But before you let the experience cloud your judgement, take some time to examine all sides of the purchase, do your homework and make sure this house is right for you. Don’t forget to consider all the other things a real estate agent isn’t going to tell you about!

1. What Expenses are Involved in Addition to the Mortgage Payments?

When your mortgage broker or realtor start talking payments, they’re only referring to the cost of paying the principal and interest each month. You’ll need to be aware of other charges that can drive these monthly bills up beyond what you’ve budgeted. When considering how much you can pay, be sure to include:

  • Neighborhood / Body Corporate fees
  • Government Taxes
  • Insurance fees
  • Utility bills
  • The termite inspection bond / fees
  • Fire dues

Many mortgages can include escrow accounts for taxes and insurance, but if yours doesn’t, you’ll need to pay these yourself. Also ask your agent / broker if fire dues, termite bonds, and neighborhood association dues are included in the mortgage or if you’re responsible for these in addition to your monthly mortgage payments.Also keep in mind that if you’re moving into a larger home than you’re used to you’ll have higher bills to heat and cool the new home. Make sure you begin with a realistic debit-to-income ratio to start you off on the right foot.

2. Is the Home Suitable for Your Future?

Renters sometimes move every year or two as their needs change. But if you buy a home you’ll want to be there awhile so you need to plan ahead. Are you planning to get married?Have children? or even start a home business? Will this home handle a growing family or any other future plans you can think of? Think ahead when buying a home so you aren’t restricted by too few rooms, not enough parking spaces, no play room in the backyard, or too few bathrooms.

3. What are the Surrounding Neighborhoods Like?

Modern Home Drive the surrounding streets before deciding to buy a home. Look for overgrown yards, houses with peeling paint or sagging roofs, and other signs of neglect. Unfortunately, these issues impact the value of your home. Also, visit the property late at night and on the weekends. Is it still quiet and safe looking after hours?

4. Can You Afford Regular Maintenance and Repairs?

If you’ve been used to a landlord fixing your leaky faucets, stopped up toilets, faulty air conditioners, and defunct appliances, it’s a bit of a shock to have to shoulder all this work and expense for yourself. Some homeowners save on repair and maintenance costs by doing the work themselves, but this takes skill and lots of time, and not all homeowners have enough of either. Be confident you’ll have the money to cover these issues after making the mortgage payments and paying the utility bills. If your area has a Home Owners Association, make sure you know their rules and regulations when it comes to renovations and repairs.

5. Is the Location Convenient to Work?

An attractive house that’s a long drive from where you have to be every day isn’t such a good deal. Think about the fuel costs, wear and tear on the vehicle and tires, and all the traffic problems you’ll encounter with a long daily commute. If the house isn’t worth the hassle, look for something closer to your job.

Buying a home should be a thrilling, fulfilling experience. If you avoid the most common mistakes, you’ll be set to enjoy your new house instead of struggling to make things work. It’s all in the planning!


***Photos thanks to NNECAPA & Milestoned***


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