Our Definitive Guide to Buying a Home – Part 2
Last week we started a discussion on the buzzing housing market, going over the four questions that every potential homebuyer must ask before diving into the process. If you haven’t taken a look: do so here!
We know that wasn’t fun.
What you really want to do is go house hunting!
Seeing all the options on sites like Zillow get you antsy. You browse through picture upon carefully lit picture, you drool at how close a home is to downtown while still remaining a quiet neighborhood. Sure this one is $1,000 over budget, but it has a wine cellar! Come on!
Hold your horses. In this Part 2 of our definitive home buying guide, we want to go over some house hunting tips that keep you in your budget and in the zone with what you truly need in a home vs. what’s trending at the time.
Here are our house hunting tips to keep in mind:
- Try to save this house hunting step for the off-season, aka the colder months, when prices will be lower.
- Don’t even bother to look at houses outside your price range. They’ll just raise your expectations and your monthly mortgage in a way you’ll surely regret.
- Location location location. Focus on where you want to live first, what city and what neighborhood.
- How accessible are amenities like the grocery store and doctor’s office?
- Does the area have signs of good, future growth?
- Does the neighborhood seem to have a good mix of young families, older couples, steady income, and low unemployment?
- Even if you don’t have kids, you’ll do better in a home within a good school zone for resale.
- When you look at a home think beyond the here and now: Is the home somewhere you can see you and your family growing comfortably in for the next five to ten years?
- Know exactly the number of bedrooms and bathrooms that work and will continue to work for you 5 years down the line.
- Are there any repairs or renovations needed on the house? Can you afford them?
- Do the floor plans make sense? Is the home big enough? Don’t rely only on photos, which can fool you into thinking a home is bigger than it really is.
- What’s your opinion on a potential Homeowner’s Association?
This last point, Homeowner’s Associations or HOAs, deserve a point in themselves. Partly because they’re easy not to think about until it’s too late, when you wish you did or didn’t have to deal with their rules, regulations, and fees.
- HOAs improve the property value by regulating the outer appearance of your home.
- They upkeep the community’s common areas like pools and playgrounds.
- And HOAs can be called on to resolve conflicts with residents.
- You probably don’t want to have to ask for permission to make any exterior change on your home, but with an HOA you more than likely will have to.
- There are added expenses and they can go up year to year.
- HOAs are usually run by volunteers, who may not have a lot of time to spend overseeing matters that may arise.
What do you think of these house hunting tips? Do you have any tips you would add?
Just like house-hunting, finding the right home insurance policy is just as important and requires time and knowledge. Give us a call and ensure you have the best policy for your needs: 970-352-9500
Tune in next week for the final instalment of our definitive home buying guide!