Buying a home can be both exciting and a little scary. It’s a big leap, and some of you may feel that leap is just a bit too far right now. However, buying a home doesn’t have to be intimidating or frustrating. You may think you’ve got it made by renting a home or apartment. Just try to see the bigger picture. With the money you throw away renting a place, you could put a down payment on a home to call your own. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into. It takes dedication, hard work and patience to own a home. Here are 5 things to know when buying a house:
Know Your Budget
Buying a home can be so much fun that you can get pulled in and emotionally attached. Don’t go over your budget or you’ll be in over your head. Make sure that you sit down and figure out a ballpark figure of what you are able to spend and what you can afford going forward. This budget should include more than just the cost of the home. Be sure that you include any renovation costs, repairs and other miscellaneous fees. If you don’t have a ton of cash to spend on a new home, consider buying a fixer-upper! These make great first home purchases and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Think of it this way, the less you spend on the initial purchase of the house, the more money you will have to spend on remodeling and fixing it up. It’s a win-win situation for you and your wallet.
Are There HOA Fees?
When purchasing a home, you should always find out if there are any HOA fees associated with the property. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the acronym, HOA stands for Home Owners’ Association. These HOA fees are typically associated with newer subdivisions and housing developments. Even some of the more rural housing developments require HOA fees on a monthly or yearly basis. These HOA fees range in prices and can be very expensive in some developments or upscale areas.
Know Your Neighbors
You may think of your neighbors as family and trust them just the same. However, when you are moving into a new neighborhood, it’s a good idea to do a quick check on the qualities of the neighborhood. You may not like to think of such things, but you and your family’s safety is important. Do a quick search online to check for registered sex offenders and other crime statistics in the area. Knowing this information is very important, and the results may make or break your decision while choosing the perfect place to call home.
Check for Water Damage
When purchasing a home, make sure you do a thorough check for water damage. This can easily be detected, by looking for water spots on the ceilings, walls, and baseboards. You can also notice sagging in certain areas on the ceiling and floors that have had previous water damage. Usually, water damage is a sign of leaks, rotting wood and can be costly to repair. Hire a professional to do an all over check of your potential home. You won’t want to find out about the water damage after you purchase the house.
A Solid Foundation
You can easily repair walls, roofs and cosmetic things to your new home. However, fixing a foundation is very expensive and hardly worth the trouble. Make sure that your potential home is sitting on a solid foundation. Hire a professional contractor to come in and fully assess your home. They will be able to verify your home-to-be is on a good and solid foundation, as well as check the wiring, plumbing and other potential red flags, so to speak. Knowing what you are getting yourself into will take a huge weight off your shoulders. If you are into fixing up an old home, you will want to know everything that’s wrong with it so that you can properly fix it. If you aren’t interested in a fixer-upper, pass on a home that has too many red flags.
These are just a few of the many things that you should know when buying a home. Take it one step at a time and be patient. Your perfect home is out there, you just haven’t found it yet.