How to See the Forest AND the Trees: Factors to Remember When Buying a Home

Purchasing a home is an emotional event for many people. After all, it is an integral part of the fabric of the American dream. As such, it is very easy to overlook certain aspects of your current and future situations that can come back to haunt you later. Make sure to keep these factors in mind while searching for your own humble abode:

  • 1.     Buy for later, not just now

In addition to price and location, you need to consider whether a home will satisfy your future goals and needs. Do you plan on starting a family? Will you use your house as an office for your business? Are your parents or in-laws likely to move in with you within the next 5-10 years? How long do you plan on staying in that specific area? These are all questions you need to consider when looking at a house. Two bedrooms may seem like plenty right now, but that might change once a couple of children are added to the mix.

  • 2.     Know what you can afford before you start looking

This one sounds obvious, but people often overlook the costs that come with purchasing a home. While the actual price of the house is by far the most significant cost you will incur, there are a myriad of other costs you need to factor in: mortgage insurance, appraisal fees, taxes, lawyer fees, inspection fees, etc. These costs need to be considered before you start shopping because many of them will likely be added to your mortgage principal.

  • 3.     Grasp the local market

The local and national housing markets are constantly changing. Prices vary from month-to-month and year-to-year. Because of this, you need to have your finger on the pulse of the market. Otherwise you risk paying too much. There are plenty of Web sites out there (like Zillow.com) that allow you to do some market research of your own. You can also employ a buyer’s agent, who can provide a market survey of homes in your price range, including the asking and selling prices of comparable homes that have recently sold.

 

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