Planning to buy? Here are some things you should consider before you buy:
Location – Its not just the house you will live in, but the area as well. Is convenient shopping nearby? Is the area quiet? Will you have good access to major highways? How are the schools? Even if you don’t have children, good schools will be important when you resell.
Remember, you can change pretty much anything about your home except the location. You may not mind the apartment complex across the street, but will it affect your ability to resell later? Will you have to lower the selling price because your location has limited the number of interested buyers in your price point?
Resale value should always be considered when buying because the average homeowner stays in their home only 5-7 years. Is the area you’re considering growing or declining? Is there vacant land nearby that may become an apartment complex, a shopping center, a freeway? You can check with your city planning department to find out about proposed development in the area.
Know the area – Drive around the home of your interest at different times of the day. What’s the traffic like? The outdoor activity? Are people walking and biking or is there heavy traffic? Drive to the home from different directions. You may find something that would keep you from buying, or maybe find a convenient shopping area you didn’t even know about!
Sunshine – Where does the sun hit the house? Especially important if you like to garden. If the backyard is shaded, would you want to plant your vegetable garden in the front? Does the sun shine into your bedroom window first thing in the morning? Does any place in the home get direct sunshine for indoor plants? If these things are important to you, take time to research.
Homeowners fees – Are there homeowner fees? HOA fees can be very high and always need to be considered in your cost to own the home. Find out what’s included in the fees and how often they are increased. Is there a cap or percentage limit? Generally, Homeowners Associations are a good thing because their restrictions (such as location and size of fencing, whether or not cars can be parked on the streets, etc.) really help keep property values up.
Think long term. You’re buying it today, but you’ll be living in it tomorrow and you’ll be selling it at some point in the future.
What things are you checking for before you buy?