Buying a new house is one of the biggest emotional and financial decisions adults face. With the current economy resulting in an excess of homes for sale, house-hunters have an abundance of choices. Buying a new home is a dream many people share, and knowing what to avoid during the home-buying process can keep this dream from turning into a nightmare.
First, house-hunters should avoid going over their budget. In many cases, the cost of a home is financed through a mortgage over the course of 15 or 30 years. Banks often determine the size of a mortgage a person can take on, and that number might be significantly higher than what the individual might actually be able to afford. Prior to even applying for a mortgage or looking at houses, potential homeowners should make a list of income sources, as well as a list of debts and bills in order to determine the monthly house payment that would easily fit into your family’s budget without being a strain. Also, be sure to factor in costs for taxes, insurance, and maintenance. Once you have your budget determined, get pre-approval from a bank for the mortgage. It is often essential to have pre-approval prior to putting an offer on any house.
After determining the budget for the new house, avoid looking at houses that are out of that price range. Too often, it’s easy to fall in love with a house and talk oneself into attempting to make that higher mortgage work in the budget, when in reality, that higher monthly payment could make it difficult to pay other bills.
Next,determine the very minimum requirements and only look at houses that meet those standards. If your family requires four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and at least half an acre of land, then avoid looking at three bedroom houses. It is not uncommon for a family to purchase a house that does not meet their minimum requirements, and then regret it after the excitement of the new house wears off.
When viewing available houses, avoid falling in love with the home’s decorating and furnishings. Homes on the market are often staged in order to evoke particular emotions of warmth, comfort, and openness. You should keep in mind that the furnishings will not be sold with the house, and so it is important to look beyond the furnishings at the actual house structure.
When looking for houses, don’t forget to research the neighborhood, school districts, and community amenities. While you are obviously free to care for your own yard, it is essential to look around the neighborhood and make sure the rest of the neighborhood represents the standard the you prefer. You should avoid purchasing a home in a run down unkempt neighborhood if you prefers a well-manicured lawn and professional landscaping. Likewise, if you don’t want to spend time on lawn maintenance, it might be prudent to avoid buying a house in a neighborhood with strict restrictions and property codes.
Finally, avoid houses that require expensive repairs unless your family is specifically looking to fix up a house. Purchasing a house that has foundation cracks or a leaky roof can quickly cause a homeowner to go over-budget when the cost of repairs are factored into the cost of the home. If the home that is being considered shows signs of a major problem, especially a problem with the house’s foundation, it is essential to get at least one, but preferably more than one professional to assess the damage and give estimates on the cost of repair. If the cost of repair is too high, or if the damage could potentially be very serious, the homeowner should be prepared to walk away.
Buying a new house is an exciting time, but can also be a stressful and financially difficult choice. There are so many types of houses and things to look at that it can often seem overwhelming. However, with caution and careful preparation you can find and purchase the perfect place for you and your family.
[author] [author_info]About the Author
Guest writer Lara Nelson contributes content to mortgageportection.net, so buyers can make informed decisions about their future.
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