Buying a house for the first time is exciting, but can also be scary and overwhelming.
You want to make sure you are making the right decision, and aren’t spending more money than you need to.
In this article, we’ll run through some of the key things you should pay attention to when buying a house.
From location and price to condition, amenities and red flags, we’ll help you figure out what’s most important to you and make sure you get the best possible deal on your new home purchase.
Important: Before you start going too deep into your research, you’ll want to make sure you actually qualify for a mortgage.
Going through the pre-qualification process will help you understand how much you can qualify for, if a down payment is needed, and how much closing costs will be.
We recommend that you talk to a mortgage loan officer and getting either pre-qualified or pre-approved.
- How a mortgage loan officer can help you from start to finish
- Benefits of getting pre-approved
- How to know how much you qualify for
- Process of buying a house
Ok, lets go ahead and start with key things to look for when buying a house.
Location of the house
The first thing you need to consider when buying a house is the location.
Where do you want to live?
You need to think about things like the surrounding neighborhood, safety, public transportation, commute to work, and schools in the area.
These are all important factors that will affect your quality of life.
If you have a long commute, you may not be happy in your new home.
Who wants to sit in a car, in traffic for 65 minutes?
You need to find a balance between a convenient location and an affordable price.
Do you prefer to live in the city, or the suburbs?
It really depends on your lifestyle and what you’re looking for in a home. There are pros and cons to both options, so it’s important to do your research before making a decision.
Get your real estate agent involved to help you make a proper decision.
If you have children, you’ll want to make sure there are good schools in the area.
You’ll also want to consider things like after-school activities and safety. Neighborhoods with high crime rates may not be the best place to raise a family.
When you’re thinking about location, it’s important to consider your budget as well.
Some areas are more expensive than others, so you’ll need to find something that fits within your price range.
Keep all of these factors in mind when narrowing down your search for the perfect house.
Size of the home
The right size house will have enough space for your needs while also being easy to maintain.
There are a few things to keep in mind when determining the size of house you need:
- The number of bedrooms and bathrooms you require
- Your desired kitchen and living space
- The amount of storage you need
- Your budget
Keep in mind that the size of a house can also affect its price, so be sure to factor this into your budget and don’t get too unrealistic.
Sometimes a smaller house may feel big based on how the rooms are laid out.
It’s worth taking a look if it fits all the other boxes.
Age of the House
A newer home is likely to have more features and be easier to maintain than an older one, but an older home may have more character.
Inspect both the interior and exterior of the house to check for any signs of damage or wear and tear that may need to be addressed.
Generally speaking, a house that is over 50 years old will require more upkeep than a newer one, so be sure to factor that into your decision.
Once you make an offer and it has been accepted, a home inspection is recommended.
The home inspector will give you a report on what may need replacing in a few years (for example, HVAC, roof, etc.)
Number of Bedrooms and Bathrooms
There are a few things to keep in mind when determining the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms for your needs.
First, consider the size of your family.
If you have a large family, you will need more bedrooms and bathrooms than if you have a smaller family. Second, think about how often you entertain guests.
If you entertain guests often, you will a guest room to accommodate them.
Finally, take into account your budget.
A larger home with more bedrooms and bathrooms will be more expensive than a smaller home with fewer bedrooms and bathrooms.
When most people think of the kitchen, they think of the sink, stove and refrigerator.
But there is so much more to a kitchen than just these three appliances.
Here are a few things to look for when evaluating a kitchen:
- Is there enough counter space?
- Is the layout conducive to cooking and entertaining?
- Are the cabinets in good condition?
- Is there a dishwasher?
- What type of flooring is in the kitchen?
- Is there a window?
- How is the lighting?
- Is there a pantry?
The Living Room
Here are some things to consider when choosing a living room
Size: The size of your living room will depend on the size of your house.
Is it big enough to meet your needs?
Will it fit your furniture?
Layout: The layout of your living room should be comfortable and functional.
Pay attention to the placement of furniture, windows, doors, and other features. Does it all meet your needs?
More info: Buying a Manufactured Home
Here are some things to consider:
- Do you want a yard? If so, how big?
- Do you want a deck or patio?
- Do you want a private outdoor space or are you okay with a shared one?
- What kind of maintenance do you want to be responsible for (lawn care, shoveling snow, etc.)?
- Is the outdoor space important to you for entertaining guests or spending time with family?
- Do you have pets that need an outdoor area to run around in?
- Do you want a pool, hot tub, or other type of water feature?
You’ll want to make sure there are enough closets and cabinets for all of your belongings.
If you have a lot of outdoor gear or hobbies that require extra storage, be sure to find a home with a garage or shed.
And if you’re someone who likes to keep their home tidy and organized, look for homes with plenty of hidden storage options like built-ins and nooks.
The Neighborhood the Home is in
1. The crime rate. It’s important to research the crime rate in the neighborhood to. You want to make sure you are going to be comfortable. You can check with the local police department for information on crime in the area.
2. The quality of schools. If you have kids, or plan on having kids, you’ll want to make sure the schools in the neighborhood are up to par. You can check with the school district or do some research online to get an idea of how well the schools in the area perform.
3. The cost of living. Another important factor to consider is how much it will cost to live in the neighborhood. This includes things like property taxes, utility bills, HOA, and the cost of groceries and other necessities.
4. The commute. If you work outside of the home, you’ll need to take into account your commute time, to and from work. Consider how long it will take to get to work, and whether or not public transportation is available in the area.
5. The amenities. Take a look at what kinds of amenities are available in the neighborhood. Things like parks, playgrounds, grocery stores, and restaurants can make a big difference in your quality of life
The Cost of the House
The most important factor is the location of the property.
Properties in big cities will typically cost more than those in smaller towns.
Other important factors include the size and condition of the property, as well as any special features it may have.
When budgeting for the cost of buying a house, it’s essential to remember that there are additional costs beyond the purchase price of the property itself.
These can include things like repairs, moving costs, and new furniture.
It’s also worth considering how much you’ll need to spend on renovations or repairs once you’ve bought the property.
Once you’ve considered all of these costs, you’ll be in a better position to set a budget and start looking for your dream home!
Red flags that might be deal breakers
1. The house is in disrepair and would require a significant investment to bring it up to code. If you’re not prepared to make that kind of investment, it’s best to move on.
2. The neighborhood is crime-ridden and unsafe. This is obviously a major concern, and you’ll need to decide if you’re willing to take the risk.
3. There are serious foundation or structural issues with the house. These can be extremely costly to fix, and may not be worth the investment.
4. The wiring or plumbing is outdated and needs to be replaced. This can also be a major expense, so you’ll need to decide if it’s something you’re willing to tackle.
5. There are mold or mildew problems present in the house. This can pose a serious health risk, so be sure to have the property inspected by a professional before closing on the property.
We hope that this article has been helpful in providing you with the information you need to make when purchasing a house.
More info you may be interested in
- Buying a $850,000 house in San Diego with just $29,000 down payment
- What credit score is needed to buy a house?
- 5 Reasons to Buy a House in San Diego
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